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- To: "Daniel L. Weinreb" <DLW@SCRC-QUABBIN.ARPA>
- Subject: KMP's proposal
- From: "Scott E. Fahlman" <Fahlman@CMU-CS-C.ARPA>
- Date: Fri, 19 Jul 1985 17:05 EDT
- Cc: cl-error-handling@SU-AI.ARPA
- In-reply-to: Msg of 19 Jul 1985 12:25-EDT from Daniel L. Weinreb <DLW at SCRC-QUABBIN.ARPA>
- Sender: FAHLMAN@CMU-CS-C.ARPA
The key word in my note was "PROBATIONARY standard". By that I meant
that we would proceed more or less as I had outlined earlier: all of the
people interested in such things agree that this is the error system we
PROBABLY want, so a few of us take the trouble to implement it and see.
Then we do whatever has to be done to make the new standard official.
Obviously, it doesn't become an official part of the language until
there is a way to make official changes to the language, but that
doesn't mean we can't agree informally that certain things ought to be
done in certain ways.
I don't think it is so bad to have to call up the various Common Lisp
vendors and tell them that we've got a solid error system defined. Most
of them would be delighted, especially if we can hand them the code that
implements the whole thing (modulo a couple of minor hooks). Obviously,
we don't tell them that they are suddenly out of spec and that they
can't call their product Common Lisp until they have fixed this.
Requiring a new feature in every Common Lisp has to lag a certain amount
of time behind agreeing on it. The error system may be special,
however, since there can't really be a complete validation suite until
there is a better standard for error handling than the one we have now
-- there's no portable way to have a program deliberately cause an error
and then recover.
As for setting up the formal charter process, or organization, or
whatever it is going to be, I'm afraid that the chairman of the charter
committee hasn't been giving this very much attention of late, mostly
because he despairs of making any progress there without finding someone
who wants to put in a couple of years of full-time work to get an
organization off the ground. Maybe we should fire that chairman and get
one with more energy and better ideas. The current chairman would like