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Can you elaborate on the kind of ``confusion and paralysis of truly
awsome proportions'' you expect?

Can you also give a couple examples of what you consider portable
uses of the current paradigm which do not involve the use of READ-LINE
in order to obtain a namestring in the first place?

My point is that if every portable use of MAKE-PATHNAME must look like
then what's the point?

I think the examples I put forth were simple and compelling and I would
like to see some equally compelling -- but most importantly, concrete --
arguments of how such lossage is likely to occur. The only cases I can
imagine causing problems are cases where people insist on programming in
new-CL without reading the documentation. I don't mind designing languages
to take into account naive users (normal, thinking people who have
read the documentation) but I do mind designing languages to take into
account ignorant users (people who believe their own personal prejudices
and intuitions should take precedence over a carefully reasoned and
thoroughly documented theory).

Do you have a technical objection to the proposal on the table? The pathname
system from which I took the idea for this proposal is one of very few I
know of which has tried this approach and demonstrated it to be workable in
the face of numerous operating systems. Frankly, the only comments I've ever
heard numerous users of the Symbolics pathname system were ones of astonishment
at how well that aspect of the lisp machine pathname system works. So it
seems to me that the facts are in direct opposition to your ``doom and gloom''
prediction. Do you contest this claim or practical experience to the contrary
which you would like to share?

Does anyone else have any opinion on this issue? I think the experience both
of users who have tried to port programs between radically different file
systems, and of implementors who support simultaneous interfaces to multiple,
very different file systems would be of interest. I think this is a
tremendously important issue and deserves considerable thought.