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Issue: NTH-VALUE (Version 1)
- To: pierson%mist@MULTIMAX.ARPA
- Subject: Issue: NTH-VALUE (Version 1)
- From: Kent M Pitman <KMP@STONY-BROOK.SCRC.Symbolics.COM>
- Date: Tue, 16 Aug 88 19:25 EDT
- Cc: CL-Cleanup@SAIL.Stanford.EDU
- In-reply-to: <8808162243.AA06571@mist.UUCP>
If I recall, I was originally talked down on the argument that I
shouldn't be thinking of values as an array-like vector to be
indexed into -- the argument being that this is not how arguments
to functions are treated. They, by contrast, are named.
However, in practice, I find that I often write things like:
(SIXTH (MULTIPLE-VALUE-LIST ...))
(NTH 5 (MULTIPLE-VALUE-LIST ...))
just for visual clarity and conciseness (in spite of the consing)
-- especially when picking apart hairy return values such as those
involved with the time functions, but also even in simpler cases.
A sufficiently clever compiler -could- just optimize my idiom,
I suppose, but still it would be nice to provide people with
something that was both efficient and perspicuous.
So, even though some people may have wished they could reform the way I
think about multiple values in some circumstances, the fact remains that
they didn't change my model. They only managed to make me feel
inconvenienced every time this comes up... So even after all this time,
I still think this is a good idea and generally support the idea of
However, I would like to see the wording tightened to make it clear that
the order of evaluation is left-to-right. "Evaluates N, then evaluates the
form...." or some such.