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- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Subject: method signatures
- From: Sonya E. Keene <skeene@STONY-BROOK.SCRC.Symbolics.COM>
- Date: Wed, 4 Nov 87 15:10 EST
I like the new method signatures. They give good information in a
concise format. However, I don't believe that a Method Signature is
redundant with Syntax.
When readers look in the specification for a generic function such as
ADD-METHOD, there are two different kinds of information they might be
How do I call this g-f?
--Answered by Syntax
What methods are guaranteed to exist for this g-f?
--Answered by Method Signature
Yes, I know that the reader can divine the answer to the first question
by looking at the Method Signature. But it takes a little bit of
parsing with your eyes, and I think we should spare our readers from
Actually, the more I think about this, the more strongly I feel about
it. Here's more of my reasoning:
If we remove Syntax for all generic functions that have Method
Signatures, we are skewing our specification in a certain way. We are
essentially suggesting that users should be able to divine information
about a generic function by looking at one or more methods. But this
is entirely backwards. We should be recommending that people learn
about the generic function first, and then (if necessary) learn about
the individual methods.