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I think the key is in this concept of deprecation.

The problem Gregor has indicated is that REQUIRE's presence there
means he has to put up with people saying he shouldn't be writing
DEFSYSTEM stuff but rather should be using REQUIRE/PROVIDE since
``they wouldn't be there if you weren't intended to use them.''
I have to say I've run into this same attitude.

I think it's acceptable to retain the 1-argument case in the spec
for sake of compatibility, but that we should throw it into the
deprecated bin so that it's clear that its mere presence there is
not an endorsement.