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Issue: FUNCTION-TYPE (version 4)
- To: cl-cleanup@SAIL.STANFORD.EDU
- Subject: Issue: FUNCTION-TYPE (version 4)
- From: "Scott E. Fahlman" <Fahlman@C.CS.CMU.EDU>
- Date: Thu, 4 Jun 1987 01:31 EDT
- In-reply-to: Msg of 30 May 1987 00:18-EDT from Masinter.pa at Xerox.COM
- Sender: FAHLMAN@C.CS.CMU.EDU
There seem to be three positions here:
1. The "maximally clean" proposal, in which FUNCALL, APPLY, and the
built-in functions that take functional args would take only true
functions and it would "be an error" to pass either of these a lambda
expression or a symbol.
2. The "maximally compatbile" proposal currently reflected by
3. The "maximally Macsyma" proposal, which is like 2 but would also
require that SYMBOL-FUNCTION take a symbol or lambda and return it
I actually favor option 1, though I think that we must be up-front about
the incompatibilities it introduces. Several others seem to share this
It might be hard to get the majority of X3J13 to agree to option 1,
however, since a lot of those people are more worried about preserving
existing code than about cleanliness and consistency. If we want to
resolve this issue in a hurry, pushing option 2 might be the way to go.
Moon has been the most vocal advocate of option 2 within the cleanup
committee. Personally, I could live with this, though I prefer option
So far, only KMP has argued in favor of option 3. This does not reflect
the status quo in many implementations, and some of us view it as a step
It would be great if we could reach some internal consensus on this
issue and present a recommendation from the whole cleanup committee. If
this is impossible, we should write this up as a two-option or
three-option proposal and let X3J13 fight it out. I don't think we
should sit on this indefinitely waiting for someone's mind to change or
break it up into little pieces -- either move will just guarantee that
this remains unresolved for the forseeable future.
If people are comfortable with releasing the current version, I can go
along with that in priciple, but the presentation needs to be cleaned up.
I will be happy to do some of the work of redrafting this proposal, but
can't do this without understanding where the committee members stand:
what they favor, and what they would agree to.