Subject: Re: EVAL Implementations
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1996/08/21
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

Robert Munyer seems to want to maintain that CLtL2 is his authority in the
presence of ANSI Common Lisp, and he seems to take delight in the legalese
phrase where the HyperSpec says that is not the Real Thing, which is just
saying that "if you need to be absolutely certain (probably because you're
a lawyer), you have to buy the Real Thing for USD 350 from ANSI".  if the
HyperSpec had not had that disclaimer, somebody could be in trouble for
trying to be more authoritative then they were.  in other words, if some
electronic document says it's not the real thing, you can bet several
kilobits per second that it it's exactly the same as the official document,
except you won't be able to say it is in a court of law.  arguments to the
effect that people write their own stuff into standards documents are
specious at best.  I cannot think of anybody who would actually do that --
temporarily ignoring the immense stupidity of such an undertaking, it would
be so easy to prove that tampering had taken place and the credibility of
whever did it would be destroyed right there.  such tampering is much
harder to spot in paper standarsd, except that they can ordered fresh from
some authority.

note that CLtL2 was not an official document; CLtL1 was; ANSI X3.226-1994
Common Lisp is.  the HyperSpec at Harlequin is Kent Pitman's formatting
into HTML from the exact same source text that went into the final text of
the standard that was later published by ANSI.  Kent Pitman was the editor
of the standard.  see the Credits section in the standard or the HyperSpec.

let's leave this much ado about nothing to the lawyers should the need to
compare the HyperSpec to the Real Paper Thing come up.  (part of) Robert's
answer was wrong, relied on implementation specifics at best, and is no
better off after his attempted rescue missions.  end of story.

life is hard and then you post.