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Issue: LOAD-TRUENAME (Version 1)

This one was kind of on the table (due to Touretzky), but never got
written up formally. I think it's important, so I'll risk getting yelled
at by sending it out `new' at the last minute...

Issue:        LOAD-TRUENAME
Forum:	      Cleanup
References:   LOAD (p426), PROVIDE (p188), REQUIRE (p188),
Category:     ADDITION
Edit history: 13-Mar-89, Version 1 by Pitman
Status:	      For Internal Discussion

Problem Description:

 It is difficult to construct sets of software modules which work
 together as a unit and which port between different implementations.

 REQUIRE and PROVIDE were intended to provide this level of support
 but have `failed' to be portable in practice.

 Typical user configurations involve a `system definition' file which
 loads the modules of a `system' (collection of software modules).

 Among the specific problems which arise are:

  - File system types may vary. Different file syntax must be used for
    each site.

  - Even with the same Lisp implementation and host file system type,
    the directory in which a software system resides may differ from
    delivery site to delivery site.

  - Multiple `copies' of the same system may reside in different
    directories on the same machine.


 Introduce new variables:

   *LOAD-TRUENAME*					[Variable]

   This special variable is initially NIL, but is bound by LOAD to
   hold the truename of the pathname of the file being loaded.

   *COMPILE-FILE-TRUENAME*				[Variable]

   This special variable is initially NIL, but is bound by 
   COMPILE-FILE to hold the truename of the pathname of the file
   being compiled.

 ------ File SETUP ------
 (DEFVAR *SOURCE-FILE* (COMPILE-TRUENAME) "Just for debugging.")



 This satisfies the most common instances of the frequently reported
 problem in the Problem Description.

Current Practice:

 Wide variation.

 In some implementations, calling LOAD binds or sets 
 *DEFAULT-PATHNAME-DEFAULTS* so that pathnames named in a file being
 LOADed will default to being `nearby.'

 Some implementations provide special variables that are similar or
 identical to one or both of those proposed.

 Some implementations have a way to represent the pathname for the
 current working directory, and make the default pathname default
 to that, so that loading without specifying a default again tends to
 get `nearby' files.

 None of these techniques is portable, unfortunately, because there
 is no agreement.

Cost to Implementors:

 Very small.

Cost to Users:

 None. This change is upward compatible.

Cost of Non-Adoption:

 Continued difficulty for anyone trying to put a system of modules
 in a form where they can be conveniently delivered using portable code.


 The cost of non-adoption is avoided.




 Touretzky raised the issue most recently on Common-Lisp. A number
 of people immediately jumped on the bandwagon, indicating it was
 important to them, too.

 Pitman made three suggestions in response, of which the above is
 the first. The others included:
  2. Variables *LOAD-TRUENAMES* and *COMPILE-FILE-TRUENAMES* which hold
     lists of the truenames of all files being loaded or compiled,
     respectively, during the dynamic invocation of LOAD and COMPILE-FILE.
  3. Variable *LOAD-OR-COMPILE-FILE-TRUENAMES* which holds a list like
    ((LOAD truename) (COMPILE-FILE truename) ...)
    during the dynamic invocation of LOAD and COMPILE-FILE.
 Touretzky responded:
 ``I like KMP's proposals.  I like the second one best: have separate
   variables for files being loaded and files being compiled, and use
   them to maintain a stack so we can see the nesting of loads within

 Pitman ultimately chose to present the first rather than the second
 because it seemed simpler, easier to explain, and more likely to
 pass at this late date.