Enforcing assumptions

Robert Goldman rpgoldman at sift.net
Fri Sep 23 23:32:42 UTC 2016

On 9/23/16 Sep 23 -6:24 PM, Stelian Ionescu wrote:
>> So, ok, what IS it about an ASD file, that is not DEFSYSTEM, that
>> > must
>> > be evaluated inside LOAD-ASD? If it's just "you could wreck the
>> > syntax
>> > behind my back," yeah, that's true, but you could wreck the syntax
>> > behind my back and wreck the library I'm loading, too, so why is it
>> > ASDF's job to fix that here?  If LOAD is broken, why is it our job to
>> > make LOAD-ASD and fix a tiny corner of the problem?
> Because unless you have the resources to fix the language in a major
> way, you can only do small incremental improvements. Very pragmatic.
> Not ideal.

But my claim is that it is NOT an improvement if you turn a language
which is incrementally compilable into a language that only works if you
load it through LOAD-ASD.

What we have done with LOAD-ASD is to take away code that is runnable
with compile-sexp and replace it with code that is only runnable with

It's obviously exaggerating, but it's a step towards taking what makes
CL great, and taking that away and giving us C instead.

Now, of course, people like me can put our packages in our asd files and
things should keep working, but what's the contract with the programmer

Are we going to shove more stuff into LOAD-ASD, further divorcing the
ASD-dialect from mainstream CL?

Anyway, here's my proposed solution:

1. Don't enforce the use of LOAD-ASD.  Probably people can understand
this well enough.

2. Do enforce the use of MAKE-OPERATION.  I doubt that this will
interfere with people that badly (particularly because most people won't
be doing it), and if it does, it's not that hard to replace a
MAKE-INSTANCE with a MAKE-OPERATION.  Also, allowing people to
willy-nilly create instances of a class whose instances are supposed to
be interned (i.e., EQ-comparable) is a Bad Thing.

If CL-TEST-GRID or some other testing shows that this causes Quicklisp
to melt-down, then we can consider replacing my continuable error call
with a WARNING.


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