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Documenting our decisions
- To: Guy Steele <gls@AQUINAS.THINK.COM>
- Subject: Documenting our decisions
- From: "Scott E. Fahlman" <Fahlman@C.CS.CMU.EDU>
- Date: Tue, 25 Mar 1986 01:59 EST
- Cc: cl-steering@SU-AI.ARPA
- In-reply-to: Msg of 24 Mar 1986 14:37-EST from Guy Steele <gls at THINK-AQUINAS.ARPA>
- Sender: FAHLMAN@C.CS.CMU.EDU
It seems to me that there are two issues that are somewhat orthogonal:
(a) Can the ANSI effort begin with some form of the Digital press book,
or must a new document begin from scratch?
(b) Should we plan to bring out an interim edition to tide us over to the
point where something officially ANSI comes out (even in draft form)?
If the answer to (a) were yes, that would make everyone's life easier,
but only if we get the manual completely out from under the Digital Press
copyright. I'm assuming that this won't happen. I'd rather spend time
writing a new version than hassling with Digital's lawyers.
On issue (b), I don't think we necessarily need an interim version in
the form of a book. The community of language implementors can track
the emerging standard. For users, the existing book will match the
existing implementations well enough, modulo some ambiguities and minor
fixes. Somewhere along the line we could produce a pamphlet that
documents these disambiguations, to be used with the existing book.
Once the new spec document is ready, according to us, we could find a
way to do a mass printing of it -- we don't need to wait till ANSI and
ISO do their thing.
If the Digital Press book were not the basis for the new standard
document, any second edition of that would be a private matter between
you and Digital Press. My thought was that an updated version of the
Digital Press book could appear just after the proposed standard is
finished. It would explictly point to the standard document as
definitive, but would try to describe the contents of that document in a
form more useful to the average Common Lisp user. The ANSI/ISO document
would be for implementors, language lawyers, and nit pickers.