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Version 5 of this proposal passed with amendments at the January
1989 X3J13 meeting.  However, the amendments were found to result
in an inconsistent proposal, and it was also pointed out that some
related problems with simple-arrays were not addressed.  Since then
there has been a great deal of private discussion, and review of
various versions of the proposal including ones earlier than 5.

The result is this proposal, which is believed to be acceptable to
everyone and is being offered for a vote in June to replace the
January version that was already voted in.

References:   ADJUST-ARRAY (p297), ADJUSTABLE-ARRAY-P (p293),
              MAKE-ARRAY (pp286-289), simple arrays (p28, 289),
              simple strings with fill pointers (p299)
Edit history: 22-Apr-87, Version 1 by Pitman
              15-Nov-88, Versions 2a,2b,2c by Pitman
              02-Dec-88, Version 3 by Pitman
              11-Jan-89, Version 4 by Pitman
              16-Jan-89, Version 5, by Gabriel.  Amended at the meeting to shorten.
              23-Jan-89, Version 6, by Moon.  Shorten without the bug introduced
                        by the amendment, add clarification of SIMPLE-ARRAY type.
              15-Feb-89, Version 7, by Pitman. Minor changes per comments from
                        RPG and Dalton.
              11-Mar-89, Version 8, by Pitman. Change category, add endorsements.
              17-Mar-89, Version 9, by Moon, fix wording and examples to make it
                        clear that the semantics of simple-array is unchanged.
               6-Jun-89, Version 10, by Moon and Gabriel, do over.

Problem Description:

  There are a number of unclear passages in CLtL related to simple arrays
  and adjustable arrays.  There is disagreement on precisely how these
  passages are to be interpreted, and no one is happy with the fact that
  ADJUST-ARRAY works only on an implementation-dependent subset of arrays.

  The description of the :ADJUSTABLE option to MAKE-ARRAY on p288 says that
  ``the argument, if specified and not NIL, indicates that it must be
  possible to alter the array's size dynamically after it is created. This
  argument defaults to NIL.''  The description of the :ADJUSTABLE option
  does not say what MAKE-ARRAY will do if the argument is unsupplied or
  explicitly NIL.

  The description of ADJUSTABLE-ARRAY-P on p293 says that it is true ``if
  the argument (which must be an array) is adjustable, and otherwise
  false.'' However, the description of MAKE-ARRAY makes it clear that this
  is not necessarily the same as asking if the array was created with
  :ADJUSTABLE T.  If ADJUSTABLE-ARRAY-P returns NIL, you know that
  :ADJUSTABLE NIL was supplied (or no :ADJUSTABLE option was supplied), but
  if ADJUSTABLE-ARRAY-P returns T, then there is no information about
  whether :ADJUSTABLE was used.

  The description of ADJUST-ARRAY on pp297-298 says that it is ``not
  permitted to call ADJUST-ARRAY on an array that was not created with the
  :ADJUSTABLE option.'' This is inconsistent with ADJUSTABLE-ARRAY-P.

  The definition of SIMPLE-ARRAY on p.28 says ``an array that is not
  displaced to another array, has no fill pointer, and is not to have its
  size adjusted dynamically after creation is called a simple array.''
  It is left unclear whether this is an implication or an equivalence,
  i.e. whether there can be other simple arrays as well.
  CLtL p.299 appears to refer to simple strings with fill pointers,
  suggesting that it is an implication, but similar language is used for
  equivalences in other parts of CLtL.


  1. If MAKE-ARRAY is called with the :ADJUSTABLE, :FILL-POINTER, 
  and :DISPLACED-TO arguments each either unspecified or false, the
  resulting array is a simple array.  (This just repeats what CLtL
  says on page 289, it's here to aid in understanding the next point.)
  2. If MAKE-ARRAY is called with one or more of the :ADJUSTABLE,
  :FILL-POINTER, or :DISPLACED-TO arguments true, whether the
  resulting array is simple is unspecified.

  3. It is permitted to call ADJUST-ARRAY on any array.  (Remove the
  restriction documented at the bottom of p.297.)

  4. If ADJUST-ARRAY is applied to an array created with :ADJUSTABLE true,
  the array returned is EQ to its first argument.  It is not specified
  whether ADJUST-ARRAY returns an array EQ to its first argument for any
  other arrays.  If the array returned by ADJUST-ARRAY is not EQ to its
  first argument, the consequences of any reference to the original array
  are undefined.
  5. The predicate ADJUSTABLE-ARRAY-P is true if and only if ADJUST-ARRAY
  will return a value EQ to this array when given this array as its first

Clarifications and Logical Consequences:

  a. There is no specified way to create an array for which ADJUSTABLE-ARRAY-P
     definitely returns NIL.

  b. There is no specified way to create an array that is non-simple.

  c. The definition of SIMPLE-ARRAY on p.28 is taken to be an implication,
     not an equivalence.  This is either a clarification or a change depending
     on one's prior reading of that definition.

  d. The meaning of ADJUSTABLE-ARRAY-P is changed.

  e. As with such functions as DELETE and NCONC, textbooks should
     instruct programmers to be careful to receive the value returned by
     ADJUST-ARRAY, as it might not be EQ to the first argument.


  Points 3 and 4 eliminate the problem of ADJUST-ARRAY only working on a
  subset of arrays, by changing it to work on all arrays.  It remains
  implementation-dependent whether the array is modified in place or
  copied, i.e. whether the result is EQ to the argument, however many other
  functions in Common Lisp have similar implementation-dependent behavior.
  Implementation-dependent storage allocation or reuse is considered
  more benign than implementation-dependent applicability of an operation.

  Point 3 recognizes that ADJUST-ARRAY offers features that are offered by
  no other function and which are useful in cases involving non-adjustable
  arrays (for what amounts to copying).  This change would allow an
  expression such as:


  to work reliably. Those desiring the old behavior could do:

        (ERROR "Array cannot be adjusted."))
  to get the old style error checking.

  Point 5 recycles the name ADJUSTABLE-ARRAY-P as a test for whether an
  array is adjusted in place or by copying.

  Point 2 preserves the raison d'etre of simple arrays, which is to provide
  a portable interface to implementation-dependent specialized arrays that
  trade decreased functionality for faster access.  A proposed alternative
  was to specify a way to create an array that is guaranteed not to be
  simple.  This would have made (typep (make-array ...) 'simple-array)
  return the same value in all implementations, but would have required
  large changes to some implementations and would be of little benefit to
  users.  Users need to know that certain arrays are simple, so they can
  put in declarations and get higher performance, but users have no need to
  be able to create arrays that are definitely non-simple (for lower
  performance) or definitely non-adjustable.


  1. The following program is conforming.
    (defun double (a)
      (adjust-array a (* (length a) 2)))
    (double (make-array 30))

  2. The following program is conforming.  In no implementation is the
  type declaration violated.

    (let ((a (make-array 100)))
      (declare (simple-array a))
      (frob a))

  3. The following program is non-conforming.  The consequences of this
  program are undefined because the type declaration is violated in some

    (let ((a (make-array 100 :adjustable t)))
      (declare (simple-array a))
      (frob a))

Current Practice:

  Every correct CLtL implementation conforms to points 1 and 2.  It is
  unlikely that any implementation currently exists that conforms to points
  3, 4, and 5.  Points 3 and 4 involve additions to an implementation to
  support the copying form of ADJUST-ARRAY.  Point 5 may involve a change
  to ADJUSTABLE-ARRAY-P or may be able to use the existing implementation
  of the function.

  Symbolics Genera makes :ADJUSTABLE NIL arrays adjustable in most cases,
  and ignores adjustability in deciding whether an array is a SIMPLE-ARRAY.
  The arrays that are internally simple in Symbolics Genera are a different
  subset of arrays from the type SIMPLE-ARRAY, because simplicity in that
  implementation depends on the rank and total-size as well as on the
  fill-pointer and displacement, thus Genera does not use the type
  SIMPLE-ARRAY for anything.

  Lucid, IIM, Ibuki, and Symbolics Cloe make :ADJUSTABLE NIL arrays
  non-adjustable in all cases, and make every array non-simple that CLTL
  does not require to be simple.

  Macintosh Allegro Common Lisp v1.2 makes :ADJUSTABLE NIL arrays
  non-adjustable in all cases, makes all arrays of rank other than 1
  non-simple (violating point 1), and makes every array non-simple that
  CLTL does not require to be simple.

Cost to Implementors:

  The change to ADJUSTABLE-ARRAY-P is easy.  The change to ADJUST-ARRAY may
  involve some complex coding but should not be a large task.  No changes
  are required to anything connected with SIMPLE-ARRAY.

Cost to Users:

  None in code that does not call ADJUSTABLE-ARRAY-P.  This is a fully
  upward-compatible change from the user's standpoint.


  Programs that use simple arrays and/or adjust arrays will be easier
  to port, as the language specification for these features will be
  clearer.  More programs will be able to call ADJUST-ARRAY, as its use
  will not be restricted to a subset of arrays.


  Users who expect adjusting arrays created with :ADJUSTABLE NIL to signal
  an error would not get the desired signal.  A few programs might have
  porting problems due to variation among implementations of whether the
  result of ADJUST-ARRAY is EQ to the first argument.


  Most people believe the status quo is unaesthetic.  Having an aspect of
  the language more clearly specified is an aesthetic improvement.
  Allowing ADJUST-ARRAY on all arrays is an aesthetic improvement.


  There are at least 110 messages of discussion preceding this version of the
  proposal.  It does not seem feasible to summarize them here.

  Dick Gabriel, Dave Moon, and Guy Steele support this proposal.