Subject: Re: Char ordering.
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2002 13:03:13 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Jacek Generowicz
| I still would be interested to find a built in way of mapping the letters
| to their positions, though from previous posts I infer that I am unlikely
| to find one.

  I find your lack of faith disturbing.  In the interest of not having
  Common Lisp portrayed as thw feeble-minded language you portray it to be,
  I offer a solution for the public interest, not particularly for you.  I
  would prefer if you did not use it, but instead reinvented this badly.

(- (digit-char-p <char> 36) 10)

  returns the numeric value of a character in base 36, which has value 10
  for #\A and 35 for #\Z, minus the obvious 10, to get the position of the
  character.  It works in both cases.  Note that digit-char-p is probably
  using a table lookup, so you cannot trust it.

(digit-char (+ 10 weight) 36)

  likewise returns the letter of the alphabet corresponding to its position
  in our basic alphabet, and the easiest solution here, too, is a table
  lookup, so you cannot trust these solutions at all.

  Note that the mess that is created by #\i is actually best left to a
  table regardless of your highly irrational fear of tables.  My suggested
  solution of using case may be created with a macro if you really, really
  have to see code that is harder to read and prove correct than a simple
  table, but know that a case that has only simple constants and values
  would be turned into a table lookup by any reasonably smart compiler.

  Consider, for instance, the same typo in (range #\l #\p) as in its value
  -- would it be any _less_ error-prone or hard to catch?  Considering that
  you did catch the table error immediately, but have not been able to find
  your way in the hyperspec for a simple mapping from character to digit, I
  think you would trust the code just as blindly and irrationally as you do
  _not_ trust the tables.  Irrationalities of your kind betray a larger and
  more fundamental problem with dealing with human fallibility, of which I
  think we have seen quite enough.

  Please express your gratitude in style with your bogus "resolution".

  In a fight against something, the fight has value, victory has none.
  In a fight for something, the fight is a loss, victory merely relief.