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Re: Issue: PACKAGE-CLUTTER
- To: masinter.pa@Xerox.COM
- Subject: Re: Issue: PACKAGE-CLUTTER
- From: Scott.Fahlman@B.GP.CS.CMU.EDU
- Date: Sat, 17 Sep 88 17:10:24 EDT
- Cc: CL-Cleanup@SAIL.Stanford.EDU
- In-reply-to: Your message of 17 Sep 88 13:18:00 -0700. <880917-131810-2375@Xerox>
I think that either the standard should be completely silent about USER -- e.g.,
say "the initial package should be something other than LISP and the
implementation should document what it is...", or else be explicit about it.
What's the point of requiring this otherwise useless package? Again, this is a
requirement for implementation rather than programs.
I agree that users should be told that the initial package may be something
other than Lisp, and that it may have implementation=specific stuff in it
which is presumably documented. I see no harm in saying that this initaial
package is named USER, but that its contents will differ from one
implementation to another. Then people who see this package name will at
least know what is going on. On the other hand, there's no compelling
reason why a standard name is needed for this non-standard thing. As long
as we're allowed to keep calling it USER, I don't really care whether
everyone is forced to call it that. Some implementaitons might want to
come up with LISP as the default, I suppose.
I think that there will definitely be at least a minor fight if someone
proposes to eliminate all the internal symbols of LISP. That's an
incompatible change, for us at least, and the only reason for it is to
prevent errors when a user is doing something wrong in the first place.
You don't live in Lisp unless you're the implementor; others should just
USE it. As with any package, if you get into its insides, you are
responsible for knowing about what's already in there.