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Info please ...

    Date: Fri, 26 Jun 87 10:32:57 -0100
    From: unido!gmdzi!yvw@seismo.css.gov (Yvo Van Wezemael)

    in the directory SYS:CLCP; I found some tools which seem interesting to me, 
    notably annotate.lisp & mapforms.lisp. Unfortunately there is no manual for
    this tools, which seem to be in the public domain.

    Could anybody please give me some info please! Does a paper exist which 
    describes those tools? What's their purpose? What's the history?

Writing an academic paper about those tools and the techniques they use
is an interesting idea, but so far it hasn't happened.

The only documentation on those tools is in their comments,
unfortunately.  There are relatively extensive comments describing the
entry points that are intended to be called.  The history is that those
tools fell into a hole when the envisioned Common Lisp Yellow Pages
library never happened; if it had happened, they would have been in that
library, and I'm sure that would have provided the motivation for a
little less minimal documentation.  So far Symbolics hasn't had the
resources to document those tools; there have always been more critical
documentation projects, useful to more people, that had to be done first.

As for the purpose, basically they are a bunch of useful facilities for
analyzing and synthesizing Lisp code in various relatively simple ways. 
The front end of our compiler makes extensive use of them, for example.
I think one or two people are using them in non-Symbolics Lisps as well,
although they never got into really wide use.

MAPFORMS is inspired by an internal part of Interlisp's Masterscope.
I also looked at about half a dozen other "code walking" tools while
designing it.