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The T and NIL issues
- To: Moon at SCRC-TENEX
- Subject: The T and NIL issues
- From: Earl A. Killian <EAK at MIT-MC>
- Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1982 20:34:00 -0000
- Cc: Common-Lisp at SU-AI
There is certainly one advantage to having () not be a symbol for
Common Lisp (though not for the Lisp Machine), and that's
implementation and efficiency. The last time this came up, DLW
pointed out that having the CAR and CDR of a symbol be () was
only an implementation detail, as if that made it unimportant.
Now I understand that many Common Lisp decisions have given
implementation a back seat to aesthetics, but here's a case where
most people (except HIC) think the aesthetics call for the change
(the usual argument against the change is compatibility, not
aesthetics -- you even said in a completely ne language, you
would rethink them).
You said "The only resolution to these issues that Symbolics can
accept is to retain the status quo", but you didn't say why.
Why? If compatibility is the only reason, then why isn't the
reader hack of NIL => () acceptable? I just don't believe many
programs depend on (SYMBOLP NIL).
What if others don't want to kludge up their implementation, and
so the only thing they can accept is a change in the status quo?