Subject: Wish list item: , in integers made readable From: Erik Naggum <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: 2000/05/19 Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <email@example.com> Ada has one good thing about numeric constants: They may contain _ (underscore) to make them more readable. Common Lisp can print numbers that look even nicer, with a , (comma) grouping digits, but it can't read them back in, again. This annoyed me today, as I was gawking at a whole bunch of large integers that had to be readable. So I made , non-terminating. (set-macro-char #\, (get-macro-char #\,) t) This meant 123,456,789 read back as the symbol named "123,456,789" which is almost exactly half as useful as what I had in mind. So I hacked the function that I thought made the wrong decision about numberhood of this string. The rest of the system was not amused, so I had to delete the commas from the input at a fairly low level, but that's not too satisfactory, as it's common in some cultures to use dot or space, not comma, for grouping (silly Europeans!), and parse-integer could really use some more options. Like a cancer my wish list item grew, so here's the condensed and sanitized version of with wish list item: I'd like integers printed with internal commas for grouping to be readable as if the commas were absent. This requires the comma to be a non-terminating macro character, which _could_ cause problems with space-deficient legacy code. It would be nice if more of the system would grok human-readable numbers, and I would be positively thrilled if write and friends would do grouping, not just format. Unfortunately, this requires rather low-level changes to most Common Lisp implementations, so I'm asking for reactions and suggestions. #:Erik -- If this is not what you expected, please alter your expectations.