[E] new compiler error re: SET-DISPATCH-MACRO-CHARACTER

Robert Goldman rpgoldman at sift.info
Thu Oct 12 18:03:30 UTC 2017

On 12 Oct 2017, at 12:53, Konstanski, Carlos wrote:

> All signs point at puri being the culprit. I am absolutely not 
> disagreeing
> with that. I provided the offending code in the bug report myself. The
> question is: what to do about it? The project is dead. The home page 
> is
> gone. Here is what I will do: I'll see if I can get drakma to steer 
> clear
> of it. They will undoubtedly be interested in not having their fine 
> code
> dragged down by a dead library.
> The only other option is to fix puri. I don't even know how to begin 
> doing
> that with a dead project. Where did Kevin Rosenberg disappear off to?
> 2017-10-12 11:45 GMT-06:00 Robert Goldman <rpgoldman at sift.info>:
>> Forwarded message:
>>> From: 73budden . <budden73 at gmail.com>
>>> To: Robert Goldman <rpgoldman at sift.info>
>>> Cc: Faré <fahree at gmail.com>, ASDF-devel 
>>> <asdf-devel at common-lisp.net>
>>> Subject: Re: [E] new compiler error re: SET-DISPATCH-MACRO-CHARACTER
>>> Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2017 20:09:44 +0300
>>> Warning about modifying standard readtable is issued by SBCL (at 
>>> least
>>> in my SBCL 1.3.18), please grep for the message in SBCL sources, and
>>> it seem to be introduced in 1.0.24. I took a look at puri's 
>>> definition
>>>  (maybe old, in my local copy of quicklisp) and it looks like it
>>> actually tries to modify standard readtable. But here it does not
>>> happen when it is being loaded via my patched asdf 3.1.6 and my own
>>> IDE with forked SLIME with many systems pre-loaded. I don't know why
>>> and have no time to investigate further. Obviously, my insights 
>>> would
>>> be of limited use because my environment is very different from that
>>> of OP.
>>>> So we might be able to help you debug this
>>> It'd be very nice to have instructions on how to trace what happens
>>> while system is being built:that is, which files are compiled, which
>>> are loaded and what is a readtable in the beginning of each load
>>> operation.
>>> Running builds in old and new asdf versions and comparing logs it
>>> would be relatively easy to figure out what is wrong.
>>> I guess that in OP's setup something had changed readtable before, 
>>> but
>>> this does not happen anymore. And obviously many people would face
>>> similar problems.
>>> This tracing tool should help a lot.
>>> I believe this tool should be supplied by asdf team. Even I begin to
>>> be more positive towards efforts of ASDF team to clean up all the 
>>> mess
>>> that was in ASDF initially, but obviously society is not quite happy
>>> with breaking changes, so some small tool with a good manual would
>>> make life easier.
>>> Printing readtable before loading, I think, requires just a line or
>>> two. Dumping log of operations might be one (trace) call, so that's
>>> trivial for the person who knows how ASDF is organized. Writing a
>>> small two-paragraph addition to manual would relief a lot of pain 
>>> and
>>> stress for all.
>>> WBR, Budden
>>> 2017-10-12 18:46 GMT+03:00, Robert Goldman <rpgoldman at sift.info>:
>>>> I'm with Faré on this one.  I don't see evidence that this change 
>>>> is
>>>> because ASDF is doing something bad.  I believe it's consistent 
>>>> with the
>>>> hypothesis that there was some imperfectly-controlled aspect of 
>>>> building
>>>> that is done differently now (e.g., files loaded in a different 
>>>> order
>>>> where both orders are compatible with the constraints in the system
>>>> definitions).
>>>> This doesn't even look like an ASDF error to me -- it looks like an
>>>> error that occurred while loading a system that ASDF has 
>>>> re-packaged.
>>>> So we might be able to help you debug this, but without more 
>>>> evidence,
>>>> there's no reason to believe that ASDF has done anything to you: it
>>>> looks like the change in ASDF just reveals a pre-existing bug.
> -- 
> Carlos Konstanski
> MTS IV Cslt
> Verizon Cloud Platform
> carlos.konstanski at verizonwireless.com
> Cell: 15126218301
> Slack: vzw-vsi.slack.com username: @ckonstanski

That may be, but it was unfair to get angry at the ASDF maintainers 
about this.  This is just a pre-existing error that was *manifested* 
because of a change in ASDF.  It's not our fault that this error 
appeared, it's not our fault that the puri library is no longer 
maintained, and we can't be expected to avoid releasing improved 
versions of ASDF because there exists buggy, unmaintained code in 

An apology from you would be appropriate at this point.
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