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specializer-direct-xxx generic functions

    Date: Thu, 4 Oct 1990 10:57 EDT
    From: kab@charon.MIT.EDU (Kim A. Barrett)

    Not implementing generic-flet and friends is not really an option for most
    implementations without action from X3J13

I wonder.  Symbolics' implementation has been out there for almost a year if you
count from the beta test, and half a year if you count from the release, and to
my knowledge no customer has yet complained about the fact that generic-flet,
generic-labels, and generic-function are not implemented.  Maybe application
developers have no use for these constructs at present.  We'd like to implement
them, but they were too low priority to make it into the first release, and
the lack of feedback on this decision suggests that maybe they're too low priority
to belong in the standard.  Certainly other stuff like make-load-forms seems to
be a much higher priority.

    SPECIALIZER-DIRECT-METHODS was included in a list of names proposed as being
    part of a `defacto standard'.  Including an unessential and very hard to
    implement feature in such a proposal is not likely to encourage it along the
    way towards general acceptance.  

Well, note that that proposed `de facto standard' included the name, but did not
include any specification of what the name meant.  This was not an accident.

				     If the generic-flet excluded semantics were
    adopted, applications which depended on the complete list semantics would fail,
    so it seems like a good idea to decide what is going on here early, before
    anyone has a chance to write themselves into a hole.

Agreed.  That's why it wasn't a proposed `de jure standard.'  The intent was only
that implementors who choose to implement these things should agree on the same
names.  It's a larger project to define the semantics.