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- To: oster%ucblapis@BERKELEY.EDU (David Phillip Oster)
- Subject: DESCRIBE-ARGUMENTS
- From: "Scott E. Fahlman" <Fahlman@C.CS.CMU.EDU>
- Date: Tue, 15 Jul 1986 14:11:00 -0000
- Cc: common-lisp@SU-AI.ARPA
- In-reply-to: Msg of 14 Jul 1986 19:36-EDT from oster%ucblapis at BERKELEY.EDU (David Phillip Oster)
- Sender: FAHLMAN@C.CS.CMU.EDU
Fahlman@c.cs.cmu.edu says that a list is hard to parse and a string should
be returned instead. Is this a joke? Where are the ":-)"s?
The function exists in Interlisp and is very useful.
Well, I've spent a couple of days working on it, and now I think I see
how to extract arg-counts and stuff like that from the incredibly
obscure format that Foderaro proposes. I think we could write all of
the necessary functions in under a week. <= BEWARE! ATTEMPTED SARCASM!
What I was trying to say was that in a lot of implementations the kind
of information that would be returned by FUNCTION-PARAMETERS is sitting
around in already-parsed form so that the implementation can check for
legal calls quickly. Given that, why pack it into a list that then has
to be grovelled to get what you want. Various people have been arguing
that this call needs to be fast and non-consing. The "difficulty" I was
referring to was not the difficulty of writing the code, but the time
required to extract the various kinds of useful info from this list
format, as compared to keeping this around in some pre-digested format.