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FUNCTION-TYPE, archives, and Macsyma
- To: RPG@SAIL.STANFORD.EDU
- Subject: FUNCTION-TYPE, archives, and Macsyma
- From: KMP@QUABBIN.SCRC.Symbolics.COM
- Date: Wed, 13 May 87 14:23 EDT
- Cc: CL-Cleanup@SAIL.STANFORD.EDU
- Sender: File-Server@QUABBIN.SCRC.Symbolics.COM
I spent well over a year converting Macsyma to what I believe is a good
faith reading of CLtL. At the outset, I was as tired as anyone of its
odd little needs that were unwritten parts of various languages and that
had to be supported only out of fear of breaking Macsyma.
I am trying to invoke no such fear now. Indeed, I don't even work for the
Macsyma project any more. I am sure that those who do work for it are
willing to do reasonable work to upgrade Macsyma into the next generation
However, those people (whoever they may be when it finally happens; my
grandchildren, I fear) will need to be able to adequately estimae the
impact of the various changes which we have made. And we ourselves must
adequately estimate the impact so that we can know how much work we are
asking people to absorb.
I said several times in my message that I might be willing to go along
with this change. I am not trying to "kill a language" as you put it.
I just want us to be honest. And when I read the text in this proposal
that said "... attempts to minimize the impact on user code ... the
only impact should be a change in the operation of certain type predicates
... relatively easy to find and fix" I knew we were not being honest.
The changes we're proposing may be good ones. They will not all be easy
to find and fix.
I do think that the part which simply involves types is fairly
non-controversial. I would like to see it separated so we can agree that
it is and leave a smaller issue to worry about.