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- To: masinter.PARC@Xerox.COM
- Subject: cleanup status
- From: Kent M Pitman <KMP@STONY-BROOK.SCRC.Symbolics.COM>
- Date: Sun, 3 Jan 88 21:13 EST
- Cc: KMP@STONY-BROOK.SCRC.Symbolics.COM, CL-Cleanup@SAIL.STANFORD.EDU
- In-reply-to: <880103-130343-1016@Xerox>
Date: 2 Jan 88 23:04:12 PST (Saturday)
Kent: I composed the following as a follow-up to mail to
firstname.lastname@example.org. Would this address your concerns?
It helps considerably, and it may be that it expresses the majority viewpoint.
But there's one paragraph that really misses my preference. I've marked it
- - - - - - - - - - -
My recent message prompted enough debate that I thought I would clarify what I
meant in my recent message about FLET. Some assumptions:
X3J13 is attempting to define an ANSI standard for Common Lisp.
X3J13 is starting with "Common Lisp the Language" by Guy L. Steele, Jr. and
considering various clarifications, changes, additions, enhancements,
The "cleanup committee" of X3J13 is considering those minor clarifications,
changes, additions, enhancements, modifications as do not fit within the charter
of the other subcommittee's of X3J13 (namely objects, windows & graphics,
characters, iteration, compilation, validation, and possibly some others that I
The process for various cleanups is that we (the cleanup committee) consider
proposals either that we generate (e.g., based on Guy Steele's original list of
proposed modifications), that we get from the community, or are based on mail to
common-lisp@Sail.stanford.edu that seems to have reached some convergence.
We produce a writeup (similar to the one I mailed for FLET-IMPLICIT-BLOCK) for
consideration by X3J13. X3J13 then can vote on a ballot which essentially says
("we believe the ANSI standard for Common Lisp should reflect the following
Until there's an official standard, there isn't an official standard. Until
there's an official standard, the best an implementor can do is to document the
ways in which the implementation differs from CLtL.
If I had my way, this previous paragraph would be (what seems to me)
radically different. I would say something more like:
The information contained in these proposals is provided for informational
purposes only and is not a suggestion that implementors should implement the
In fact, implementors are strongly encouraged not to implement any changes
which are incompatible with CLtL, since the principle value of CLtL as a
standard is that it has no competitors. If implementors pick and choose
from CLtL and whichever of these modifications they find easy or interesting,
the state of informal standardization in the Common Lisp community will be
Extensions mentioned in these writeups which are compatible extensions can,
of course, be added at any time but should not be described as Common Lisp.
Until an ANSI or ISO Common Lisp standard is available, the name Common Lisp
should refer only to what is in CLtL for the sake of everyone's sanity.
These extensions may be referred to as "proposed extensions" which might
someday be part of a future Common Lisp standard.
The cleanup proposals, in their various draft forms, are a good indication of
those places where CLtL is ambiguous, lacking, or subject to change; those
cleanup proposals endorsed by X3J13 are a very good indication of what the ANSI
standard will look like. However, the result of the standard process will be a
single standard with (we hope) no options. An implementation will either conform
or it will not.
You might mention here that even though they have received endorsement in isolation,
they may be later superseded by other proposals or rescinded on the basis of
They are, of course, not official until there is an official standard that
What's it all mean to you?
Well, if you have strong opinions about any of the proposals, make sure your
X3J13 representative hears about them. If you would like some additional
changes, please give them to your X3J13 representative to submit.
The rest of this is quite good.