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3rd Ed of the T manual
- To: ramsdell @ HARV-10, t-discussion @ YALE
- Subject: 3rd Ed of the T manual
- From: JDR@MIT-MC.ARPA
- Date: Wed ,6 Apr 83 19:57:00 EDT
- Unauthentic-from: John D. Ramsdell <JDR @ MIT-MC>
I found the new T manual a big improvement over the last one.
Specifying the resulting type of evaluation is of great help.
I made a list of comments as I read the manual which I would
like to give to you.
1) Something that yields an undefined value should not print
any value, and functions that check their argument types
should produce an error when they find the undefined value
object. If this is not done, programmers will ingore the warnings
and use the value of (if () 'foo) I promise you. See what our
systems programmer did for AM110 scheme-in-t!
2) [p. 7] There should be a documented named-lambda or function
as I have called it. Lambda with local names is useful.
3) [p. 10] Phase out the atom nil and replace it with ().
In T one can always use () instead so why not evoid the
confussion. Again, look at what our systems programmer did for
AM110 scheme-in-t. (This will be changed).
4) [p. 16] (if pred cons alt) Is alt an implicit block? The manual
suggests not, but why not?
5) [p. 28] Operations are hard to understand from the manual. I do
not have any suggestions on how to fix this.
6) [p. 62] write-line is missing.
7) [p. 67] check-arg seems like a terrible way to do type checking.
What happened to guard?
8) [p. 68] In gen-id, I can't figure out the type of prefix.
9) [p. 79]
a) Do release bound?. Also release make-unbound so one can delete
a symbol from the table.
b) Stream I/O - I vote to make it more 6.001 like. In particular,
make it so one can combine T functions much in the way you can
combine Unix tools. I'm sure you realize how powerful this can be.
I know my proposal suffers from the weird way in which one does
writes. I can't think of any thing better now, so .....
c) Block I/O - I am working on this. I will give it to you when done.
10) [p. 99] Property lists as a data base?!? Ecch! I hope we can provide
a better data base for T than that. I will send along a paper which
gives one man's veiw on how to use a data base to store information
about a Lisp program. A data base could also be used to store information
on a system, e.g. a superset of the information contained in herald
and require forms. Please use different words to describe property lists.