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Comments on 87-002, Chapter 1

    Date: Mon, 23 Feb 87 11:35:56 pst
    From: Jim Kempf <kempf%hplabsc@hplabs.HP.COM>


    There is no mention in the document of how the CLOS will interact
    with CL DECLARE and THE. The requirement that parameter specifiers
    be type specifiers (pg. 1-19, paragraph 6) means that TYPEP
    must do the right thing when given an instance object and
    a valid class name (and presumably TYPEOF must return the class
    name as well?) but does that mean I can say:




I think that was the intention.  We should say it explicitly so there
is no possibility of misinterpretation.

    CLtL is vague on what happens if I try to bind X to something
    not of TYPE TEXT-BUFFER and I have it so DECLAREd (see pg. 158)
    but more explicit for THE (pg. 161). And what happens if
    I have two TEXT-BUFFER classes, one whose metaclass is
    the default and one with metaclass COMMON-OBJECTS-CLASS?

There can only be one class with a given name.

    Seems to me an additional set of declarations are needed,
    one, perhaps, restricting the metaclass

Could this be done by making all classes in that metaclass
(all instances of that metaclass) have a particular class as
a superclass?  For instance, it has been proposed from time
to time that every standard class should have as a superclass
would declare that x is an object with STANDARD-CLASS, or a
subclass of STANDARD-CLASS, as its metaclass.

    and one for
    specifying that a variable name can be bound to an
    object of a particular class *or a subclass*, since
    the restriction to a single class is covered by TYPE.

I think you're mistaken here.  (THE INTEGER x) does not
imply that x is not a FIXNUM, and similarly (THE C x) does
not imply that (CLASS-OF x) is not a subclass of C.  I don't
think Common Lisp has any way to declare that an object is of
a given type, and no more-specific type.

    This would allow implementations to optimize method lookup
    away at compile time to varying degrees, potentially
    completely for a TYPE declaration, and partially
    for subclass and metaclass declarations.

So far the standard proposal hasn't examined the issues involved in
early binding of classes and compiling-away of these types of decisions.
I think we should be completely open to a proposal here.  I don't
think that a late-bound implementation is going to be so slow as to
demand this type of optimization to get anything done, but of course
the amount of speedup available depends on the machine.