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More pointless hot air about cdaddaddaadddaadaaddddaaar

    Date: 4 Dec 1981 22:38:04-PST
    From: Kim.jkf at Berkeley

      Guy has implied that we are like naive, starry-eyed novices in
    our implementation of the closure of the c{ad}r function.  His
    only evidence is his own boyhood experiences.  Does anyone have an
    argument of substance to make against c{a,d}+r (not the use of it,
    but the mere fact that c{a,d}+r function exists for all positive
    numbers of a's and d's).

Well, I implemented this very same idea for the LispMachine several
years back.  So you can add me to the list of people who have
implemented it.  You can also add me to the list of people who think
it is a bad idea.  I took it out.

You wish me to argue against the existance of these functions without
reference to whether they will be used.  Fooey!  Can you really
pretend to defend the point of view that we SHOULD have them, even
though anyone who uses one should NOT be using it?  Perhaps when the
reader encounters one it should arrange to send 50,000 volts through
the programmer's chair to remind him that he is doing something bad,
but of course his code should WORK anyway!

We argue against this idea PRECISELY because we cannot imagine a
reasonable USE of one.  And we all know damned well that if it exists,
someone will use it.

I'll bet your implementation has the following bug:  Create an empty
obarray, bind the symbol obarray to it, and call read.  If you type
"cadadadadar" now you get a symbol with a definition, but if you type
"cons" you don't.  What makes "cadadadadar" so special?  I can imagine
lots of bugs like this, and I can only imagine fixes for some of them.