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Manual update

For reasons too complicated to discuss here, progress on the Common Lisp
Manual has been rather slow lately.  Guy and I have discussed how to fix
this, and we have decided that the best way to converge quickly is for
him to concentrate on editing in the relatively non-controversial things
and those items on which decisions have been reached, and for me to
orchestrate the arpanet-intensive process of reaching some sort of
consensus (or at least a decision) on those issues that still require
some debate.  I will keep some sort of file on the decisions that have
been reached to date -- more on this in a later message.  Guy will be
watching these debates and commenting where appropriate, but will not be
doing the day-to-day message answering.

Given the need to move fast on this, I do not propose to do this via a
single moby ballot.  Instead, I will raise issues one by one or in small
groups, and will in most cases attach a strong recommendation or
proposal to each.  People will have 48 hours or so to object or raise
counter proposals -- longer, of course, for the more complex issues.
Then a decision will be announced, will be put in some sort of file, and
will be turned over to Guy for inclusion in the manual.  Implementors
should feel fairly safe in treating the things in this file as settled.
It will be possible to re-open issues after the gavel has come down, or
for that matter to re-open any old wounds, but the threshold for getting
a change adopted or even a fair hearing will be very much higher in such
cases.  At that point, mere tastefulness (or lack thereof) will probably
not suffice -- only arguments of the form "The language cannot possibly
work if we retain X" or "X is unimplementable" or "X will be devastating
to potential users of Common Lisp" will be entertained at that point.

I will endeavor to strike a reasonable balance between speed and
decisiveness, on the one hand, and giving everyone a fair hearing, on
the other.  If anyone thinks I'm drifting too far in either direction,
apply feedback.

Does anyone object violently to this new scheme?  If so, speak now, but
be sure to include a viable counter-proposal.

-- Scott