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- To: (BUG LISPM) at MIT-AI
- Subject: arrays
- From: DLW at MIT-AI (Daniel L. Weinreb)
- Date: Sun ,20 Jan 80 01:07:00 EDT
Date: 19 JAN 1980 0341-EST
From: rms,cwh at MIT-AI
Sent-by: RMS at MIT-AI
To: (BUG LISPM) at MIT-AI
Maybe one reason why arrays in Lisp just don't seem as easy to use
as they do in APL is that they don't print out as their components.
Sometimes it would be a pain if arrays printed out as their components,
but sometimes it would be a win. Suppose there were a new array type
for an array that would be like ART-Q but would print out as its components
with a syntax that would read back into an EQUAL (so to speak) array.
My plan for solving this problem has always been to implement "hunks".
Hunks would be another array type, internally like ART-Q, but treated
differently by the reader and printer. Furthermore, CXR and RPLACX and
HUNK or MAKHUNK or whatever and all those things would be defined for
Maclisp compatibility. Finally CAR and CDR would work on hunks, also
for compatibility. I realize it might seem silly to be compatible with
such a crock, but it should be considered. In any case, the printed
notation for hunks might be a good one for a kinds of array that prints
and reads back, whether or not you put in the rest of the compatibility features.