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URGENT RESPONSE REQUESTED!!!!!
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 90 14:34 EST
From: Kent M Pitman <KMP@stony-brook.scrc.symbolics.com>
For the record, here is my position on #f and () ...
I strongly support any resolution to this controversy which leaves all
implementations required to do the same thing. I believe it is a grave
mistake to leave this aspect of the language unspecified.
I already wanted to generate a response that stresses exactly this
point. Kent has saved me some work. Consider me in strong agreement
I'm spending too much time in standardization activities (in a mildly
unrelated field, that is document representation and processing
standards) to be able to let arguments pass by that only cite
"consensus" instead of technical reasons for making a standard fuzzy.
As a prospective user of Scheme, I'm feeling extremely uncomfortable
with a standards committee that uses its own indecisiveness as an
excuse for forcing extensive hidden costs on its customers.
(This is not a shot against procedural arguments, which may or may not
be valid; I do not understand IEEE procedures sufficiently to know
whether such an issue can be fixed now, can be fixed during resolution
of ballot comments, or requires a new ballot.)
I used to tell students that the main difference between Scheme and
other variants of Lisp was that the Schemers tried to do things right
instead of compatible with what implementers thought to be neat in the
late fifties. If (eq? '() #f) -> fuzz, I'll stop saying that.
PS.: I also agree that this is a "small issue". Unfortunately,
often the "small issues" determine whether a standard is useful or not.
The fact that this is a small issue should be instrumental in quickly
reaching consensus (in the sense of everybody saying "I can live with
it, let's move on"), instead of in ignoring the issue.