[SL4] Flare, and the need for it.

From: Randall Randall (wolfkin@freedomspace.net)
Date: Sat Mar 04 2000 - 21:48:09 MST

From: Randall Randall <wolfkin@freedomspace.net>

At http://singularity.posthuman.com/



(sorry, cut and paste will be necessary, since
all that doesn't fit on one line in my mailer)

Eliezer wrote:

> To notice and manipulate LISP, you need to transform
> it into an alternate data structure that can have
> comments attached. The LISP program syntax itself
> does not allow comments. This sounds like a trivial
> programming problem when considered in isolation, but
> having to operate on diversely formatted instances of
> what is theoretically a single piece of data can easily
> be the difference between writing complex tools naturally,
> and writing simple tools with great effort.

This isn't so. Common LISP *does* allow comments, called
"documentation", in the code, and this could be expanded
with a trivial extension to the language, while keeping it
compatible with current Common LISP compilers / interpreters.

You can look at this feature by using
(documentation whatever-function-or-symbol-you-want
        (type-of whatever-function-or-symbol-you-want))
and what you will see is a quoted string, with no limit
of which I am aware on size.

I'm just learning LISP, but it appears to have all
the features that we would like for flare.

Wolfkin (wolfkin@freedomspace.net).
Crypto key: www.freedomspace.net/~wolfkin/crypto.text
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