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TRACE Proposal (Version 2)


	As requested, this version makes no mention of a break option
and cross references the format note you mentioned. I've also added
a reference to Moon's SETF-CLOS proposal, since fixing TRACE will
also be needed for it.

	Is there any sense of where/whether the TRACE-EXECUTION generic
function as a system entry point for extensible debugging is appropriate?


(Font Note: UPPERCASE indicates bold, _this_ indicates italic)


Issue:         TRACE-CLOS

References:    trace macro pp. 440-441

Category:      MODIFICATION

Edit history:  Version 1, 21-Oct-87 Kempf
	       Version 2, 27-Oct-87 Kempf

Problem description:

With the addition of the Common Lisp Object System, there is no
command language level way to trace individual method execution.
The TRACE macro, as currently specified in Common Lisp, allows
only tracing of globally defined functions through their names.
Since a generic function name may have several executable methods,
users need some way to specify that they would like invocation of particular
methods to be traced, rather than invocation of the entire generic
function.  In addition, the current specification of TRACE does not 
allow tracing of functions associated with SETF "methods", of macro 
functions,  nor of lexically defined functions or functions invoked via. their
function definition objects.  While this proposal does not attempt 
to address the latter two problems, since identification and/or tracing of these
is likely to be implementation dependent, it does leave 
open the option for those implementations which can arrange it. 


TRACE _{function-spec}*_  _[Macro]_

UNTRACE _{function-spec}*_	_[Macro]_

Invoking TRACE with a function specification causes the function specified
to be traced. Henceforth, whenever the specified function is invoked,
information about the call, the arguments passed, and the returned
values, if any, will be printed to the stream that is the value of
*TRACE-OUTPUT*. UNTRACE undoes any tracing. Calling TRACE without 
any arguments prints a list of currently traced executable entities, calling
UNTRACE without any arguments causes tracing to be undone for
all currently traced entities.

A _function_spec_ is either a symbol naming a function (i.e. a
symbol whose global function cell is bound to a function definition
object, or to which the application of MACRO-FUNCTION will return
a function definition object) or a list whose first element indicates
what kind of funcallable object is to be traced and whose tail indicates
which particular function should be traced. The complete set of
function specifications will necessarily be implementation dependent; however,
every implementation is required to support the following:

 	_symbol_-Invocations of the function or macrofunction named by
 	         _symbol_ via. _symbol_ as a global name are traced.

 	(METHOD _generic-function-name-specification_
 	If the method whose parameter specializer list, generic function
 	name specification, and method qualifiers are listed is tracable,
 	then invocations through the generic function name specification 
 	will be traced.

 	(SETF _symbol_)-If the SETF function having the name specification
 	is tracable, it will be traced (see proposal SETF-CLOS for
 	more information on SETF name specifications).

Implementations are encouraged to provide for tracing of as many
funcallable objects as possible.


Adoption of the Common Lisp Object System will require the availability
of debugging information on individual methods. Adoption of the
SETF-CLOS proposal will require means of tracing SETF functions. It is
also not possible to easily trace either SETF functions or macrofunctions

Current practice:

There is currently no way to trace SETF functions, aside from
macroexpanding a SETF form and using the resulting name in a
TRACE macro invocation. There is currently no way to trace macroexpansion
functions when they are invoked through their global names, except through
complicated use of *MACROEXPAND-HOOK*.

Adoption Cost:

The proposed syntax is upwardly compatible with the current Common Lisp
syntax. It will require the addition of function specification parsing
and wrapper code to trace SETF function executions and macrofunction
executions. When the Common Lisp Object System is fully implemented,
wrapper code for tracing method execution will also be required.

Cost of non-adoption:

Programmers will have to continue using a complicated set of Lisp
commands to arrange for SETF function and macrofunction tracing.
When the Common Lisp Object System is fully implemented, programmers
will have to use metaobject protocol functions to arrange for tracing.


Allow programmers to obtain information on individual method
invocations, and on SETF function and macrofunction invocations.

Conversion Cost:

Minor re-write of the TRACE and UNTRACE macros, and supporting wrapper
generating functions.