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I would support the enhancement to MAKE-PATHNAME where it might be extended
to take keywords


to mean the "canonical" type with regard to that file system. Such a
pathname might be given to DIRECTORY or PROBE-FILE.

However, I am mildly apposed to the part of the proposal which adds a
parser PATHNAME-CANONICAL-TYPE which guess the "proper" canoncal type for a
given pathname.

It may be the case that the poor user is in the situation where on his host
operating system, the *same* type portion of the pathname is used for two
different purposes. Thus, mapping from the PATHNAME to the "canonical type"
is at most a heuristic. 

This smaller proposal would solve most of the problems in the "Problem
Description." without adding any functions or constants to Common Lisp, by
merely extending the range of valid arguments to MAKE-PATHNAME.

It would avoid most of the ambiguities and difficulties in specifying other

What do you think?