[Ecls-list] building maxima

Raymond Toy toy.raymond at gmail.com
Fri Feb 3 00:40:44 UTC 2012

On Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 3:49 PM, Juan Jose Garcia-Ripoll <
juanjose.garciaripoll at googlemail.com> wrote:

> On Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 12:37 AM, Raymond Toy <toy.raymond at gmail.com>wrote:
>> (I was surprised to see ecl choose the smallest string type to fit a
>> literal string.)
> Why? I mean, an ordinary unicode string without utf-8 packing takes 4
> times the room of a base string. Since ECL is using a string buffer to read
> objects, then why shouldn't it pack them to the smallest representation
> when possible?

I was surprised for several reasons:

1. You have to check after reading the string to see what it contains.  (I
guess a very small compile-time cost.)

2. Because I didn't think any lisp did that, but it's not illegal to do so.

3. It's a burden on the user if the type of a constant string depends on
what's in it.  Being illiterate, I only know ASCII, so, perhaps this isn't
a problem in practice.

(Getting crufty old f2cl code to convert declarations like (simple-array
character (*)) to just string is a pain, but that's my problem, not yours.)

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