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[ Sorry-- I removed the language about SETQ from the proposal, but left it in
the Rationale by oversight. ]

Status:		For Internal Discussion
References:	X3J13 document 88-002R, Chapter 2, pp. 2-81f.
Category:	CHANGE
Edit history:	29-July-88, Version 1 by Piazza
		21-September-88, Version 2 by Piazza
		22-September-88, Version 3 by Piazza 
		22-September-88, Version 4 by Piazza

Problem Description:

    The SYMBOL-MACROLET construct, introduced with CLOS in X3J13 document
    88-002R, profoundly alters the interpretation of symbols appearing as
    forms in a Common Lisp program--what previously was necessarily a variable
    might now be a symbol macro instead.  Macros which appear in the body of a
    SYMBOL-MACROLET form are currently unable to determine whether a symbol
    form is a variable or a symbol macro, and, if the latter, what the
    expansion of the symbol macro is.  Consequently, complex macros (such as
    SETF or PUSH) which depend on the form of their argument(s), are unable to
    produce their desired results in some cases, as in the following example:

	    (let ((a (make-array 5))
		  (i 0))
	      (symbol-macrolet ((place  (aref a (incf i))))
	        (push x place))
	      i)		==> 2


    Change the definition of SYMBOL-MACROLET to specify that it is a special
    form, which affects the evaluation environment for symbols.  Enhance
    MACROEXPAND and MACROEXPAND-1 so that they can expand a symbol macro.
    Modify SETF et al to use the new MACROEXPAND and MACROEXPAND-1 to examine
    even symbol subforms.  Specify that the expansion of a symbol macro IS
    subject to further macro expansion in the same lexical environment as the
    symbol macro invocation, exactly analogous to normal macros.


    The potential for interaction between macros is exactly why &environment
    arguments were originally added to macros.  Changing SYMBOL-MACROLET to be
    a special form, which communicates through the &environment arguments to
    macros with MACROEXPAND and MACROEXPAND-1, would allow PUSH and SETF
    (among others) to work with SYMBOL-MACROLET in the same way they work with

    This change cannot (reasonably) support the currently specified semantics
    that the expansion text is "outside" the scope of the symbol macro.  For
    indeed, when the symbol macro is expanded, (a copy of) the expansion is
    then within the scope of the SYMBOL-MACROLET, and should then be subject
    to further scrutiny.  The issue of "infinite expansion" of symbol macros is
    no more dangerous than that of normal macros.

Current Practice:

    Portable Common Loops provides a code-walking implementation of
    SYMBOL-MACROLET as specified in 88-002R.  Symbolics Cloe has both a
    code-walking version of a SYMBOL-MACROLET macro and compiler support for
    a SYMBOL-MACROLET special form.

Cost to Implementors:

    If SYMBOL-MACROLET is modified to be a special form, compilers and
    interpreters will have to change, as well as MACROEXPAND, MACROEXPAND-1,
    PUSH, INCF, DECF, and others.

Cost to Users:

    If SYMBOL-MACROLET is converted to a special form, code-walking programs
    will have to be modified to handle SYMBOL-MACROLET correctly.  Those same
    programs would have to be modified to handle the other special forms
    specified in CLOS, anyway.

Cost of Non-Adoption:

    SYMBOL-MACROLET will retain its confusing semantics, leading to bugs when
    it interacts with complex macros and forms which produce side-effects.

    Implementations which support ONCE-ONLY will break.  For that matter, any
    mechanism which examines code and assumes that "variables" have no side
    effects will break.


    SYMBOL-MACROLET-SEMANTICS:SPECIAL-FORM avoids the hairiest problems
    surrounding interaction of macros (like SETF) and side effects, and makes
    SYMBOL-MACROLET consistent with MACROLET.


    If SYMBOL-MACROLET is made to be a special form, aesthetics are improved
    by making symbol macros consistent with normal macros.


    A case could be made for adding a new function, SYMBOL-MACRO-FUNCTION, as
    a dual of MACRO-FUNCTION.  However, symbol macros are simpler than normal
    macros: a symbol macro is associated with a single expansion form, rather
    than an arbitrary function which computes the expansion.  For this reason,
    the augmented MACROEXPAND-1 proposed here can also fill the role of
    SYMBOL-MACRO-FUNCTION: the second value of (macroexpand-1 sym env) will be
    T if and only if sym is a symbol macro, while the first value gives the
    expansion of sym, if it has one.

    Also, Pitman points out that, rather than extending the existing
    MACROEXPAND and MACROEXPAND-1 functions, new functions could be introduced
    to expand symbol macros.  However, there seems to be no particular reason
    to do this.