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Re: Issue: DECLARE-TYPE-FREE (Version 9)

Thanks for doing this, I think it does help clarify the discussion.

I had thought -- apparently incorrectly -- that the only objection to
making type declarations have the strongest possible meaning was the
difficulty in specifying what that meaning might be. I think the ALLOW
proposal does so consistently. 

If I say (DECLARE (TYPE (SIGNED-BYTE 12) X)), I'd think I'd like it to mean
that X never even momentarily holds a value that isn't of the declared

I'd suggest adding to Current Practice that some Common Lisp
implementations ignore type declarations completely.

I'd like to see the writeup make it clear that the following is subsumed;
note that this issue never was released or appeared on a Status list, so it
should probably just be included

Redistributed: xerox-cl-cleanupâ??.pa
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Date: Fri, 4 Nov 88 18:05:21 CST
 From: David N Gray <Gray@DSG.csc.ti.com>
To: cl-cleanup@sail.stanford.edu
In-Reply-To: Msg of 28 Sep 88 20:44 PDT from masinter.pa@Xerox.COM


References:    CLtL pages 156, 158

Related issues: DECLARE-TYPE-FREE

Category:      CLARIFICATION

Edit history:  Version 1, 04-Nov-88 by David Gray

Problem description:

  A Common Lisp user raised the question of whether something like the
  following is legal:

    (DEFVAR *X*)
    (DEFUN FOO ()
      (LET ((*X* T))

  Page 156 of CLtL says that a proclamation is "always in force unless
  locally shadowed" and page 158 says type declarations "only affect
  variable bindings", which might be interpreted to mean that the DECLARE
  locally shadows the PROCLAIM.  However, that interpretation would make
  the global type proclamation useless because it could not be relied on
  when compiling a function such as BAR. 

  Clarify that if there is a local type declaration for a special
  variable, and there is also a global type proclamation for that same
  variable, then the value of the variable within the scope of the local
  declaration must be a member of the intersection of the two declared


  Some restriction on local type declarations for special variables is
  needed in order for type proclamations to be meaningful.  The wording
  used here was chosen for consistency with proposal DECLARE-TYPE-FREE.

Current practice:

  The TI, Symbolics, and Lucid implementations do not report any error
  on the example above, but it isn't clear that they really do anything
  with type declarations for special variables anyway.

Cost to Implementors:

  This is unlikely to require a change in any current implementation.

Cost to Users:

  Anyone who has written code like the example above would have to
  modify it if compilers started enforcing this restriction.

Cost of non-adoption:

  A minor ambiguity in the language specification that could confuse

Performance impact:



  A clearer definition of the meaning of type declarations for special


  This is obviously very closely related to issue DECLARE-TYPE-FREE, but
  this is an ambiguity in the existing language that should be resolved
  even if the language extension of proposal DECLARE-TYPE-FREE is not
  accepted.  Note also that DECLARE-TYPE-FREE makes no mention of type

  Other possible resolutions of the ambiguity would be to either rule
  out use of local type declarations for special variables, or to say
  that the local type must be a subtype of the global type.