Subject: Re: On nil qua false [was: Re: On conditionals]
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2001 16:00:12 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Bruce Hoult
| That's right, except that you can't in CL distinguish between the empty 
| list and false.

  Geez, could you quit carping about this and start _listening_ some day
  soon?  That distinction is made in the protocol described in the
  documentation of the function you are using.  It is never a problem
  because Common Lisp programmers do not _want_ to use false and the empty
  list at the same time any more than C programmers want to put null bytes
  in their strings or put any objects at the very beginning of memory.

  It is the Sapir-Whorff hypothesis all over again.  Because the language
  does not do it, its (smarter) programmers do not want to do it.  You want
  to do something like this because you have yet to internalize the rules
  of the language.  The more you think it is "wrong", the less likely you
  are to grasp what the rules of the language _are_.

| That's a pretty much completely useless argument.

  Yeah, I figured you would not get it.  I think you are a waste of time
  this time, too.  You are one of those guys who make up their mind what
  the world should be like, and then blame the world for not conforming.
  It is _not_ Common Lisp's fault you do not like some of its features.
  There is consequently nothing that _Common_Lisp_ can do to fix this.

  Norway is now run by a priest from the fundamentalist Christian People's
  Party, the fifth largest party representing one eighth of the electorate.
  Carrying a Swiss Army pocket knife in Oslo, Norway, is a criminal offense.