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NIL and ()

    Date:    29-Mar-82 0923-EST
    From:    Drew McDermott <Mcdermott at YALE>
    I agree with everything you said in your message to Rees (forwarded
    to me), especially the judgement that CARing and CDRing the empty
    list is more important than whether NIL is identical to it.  What
    I am wondering is how the voting has gone?  How heavy is the majority
    in favor of the old way of doing things?  Who are they?  It seems
    a shame for them to be able to exploit the willingness to yield of
    those on the correct side of this issue.

   First it must of course be admitted that "correctness" is here at least
partly a matter of judgement.  Given that, I can report on what I believe
to be the latest sentiments of various groups.  In favor of the
traditional ()=NIL are the LISP Machine community (except for RMS),
the Standard LISP folks at Utah, and the Rutgers crowd.  In favor of ()
and NIL being separate (but willing to yield) are Spice LISP at CMU, S-1 NIL,
and DEC's Common LISP project.  The VAX NIL project is in favor of
separating () and NIL, but I don't know whether they are willing to compromise,
as I have not yet heard from them.