Subject: Re: Legal ANSI comment form?
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 25 Aug 2002 22:32:28 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Frode Vatvedt Fjeld
| I think you are over-rationalizing a rather mundane concept.


| But I have a bigger problem with #+(or) or similar variants like #+(and x
| (not x)), which--while neat in a slightly geeky way--I'd sooner associate
| with socially excluding, "wizard"-friendly languages, rather than the
| lucidness I've come to expect with Common Lisp.

  I really wonder what you are afraid of and how you come up with this highly
  emotional position.

| Let me propose #+false as a mechanism that to a lesser extent confuses
| separate concepts, even if it still only works by accident.

  This "proposal" and the existing abuse of #+ and #- mean that we should no
  longer read #+feature as "process the following expression if the feature is
  present in the system" and #-feature as "process the following expression if
  feature is not present in the system", but as something entirely different.
  It was only when I started to /read/ the #+ and #- out loud that I found
  #+ignore and the like to be astonishingly counter-productive and abusive of
  the concepts involved.

  How do you /read/ #+feature?  What does it /mean/ to you?

  From what you write above, I believe you do not think about what you read,
  but sort of go by a feeling that #+feature means "process the following when
  some fuzzy interpretation of feature makes intuitive sense apart from what
  it actually means".  This is only tolerable when people are ignorant of the
  language or when they do not understand what they are doing.  Such lack of
  appreciation and understanding will necessarily lead to such fantastically
  counter-productive attitudes as branding /actual/ understanding of the
  language as "geeky" and "wizard-friendly".  Learn the language instead of
  trying to adopt some fuzzy pre-understanding intuition to what you read.

  Your strong resistance to learning the nature of feature expressions is
  disheartening.  And setting yourself up so you cannot embrace a slightly
  geeky, socially excluding, "wizard"-friendly language is not conducive to
  getting the point.  You have to back down from this silly pontificated
  opinion because it is false, and you have just made that very much harder
  for yourself.  Instead of moving towards a solution, you have solidified an
  abuse of the feature expression.  If you wish to make sense and convince
  people that such abuse should be tolerated, you have to remove some of the
  emotional ties you have presented and back it up with reasoning.  OK?

Erik Naggum, Oslo, Norway

Act from reason, and failure makes you rethink and study harder.
Act from faith, and failure makes you blame someone and push harder.