Subject: Re: A modest proposal (long)
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 2000/03/01
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Keke Abe
| Is there anything particularly dangerous when a beginner equates
| CL's special variables to global vars in other languages?

  I can't answer for Erann, but my take on this is that beginners who get
  confused about this will remain confused for a few days, and then get it
  or get over it, as in: not worrying about it even if they don't get it.

  if we change the semantics of the language from what said confused people
  will find described in textbooks and other reference materials and when
  searching the net, the number of days of confusion can only increase, not
  the least because half the vendors will think this is a lame idea and not
  implement it, and the other half will do it better than the lame code and
  so the only thing we will succeed in is in destroying a very powerful
  mechanism in Common Lisp that every other language is sadly lacking:
  transparent, safe, and convenient global, dynamic variables.  all for the
  purported, but obviously unrealizable benefit of reducing the number of
  confused people and their posting frequency to comp.lang.lisp.

  still, it would be nice if we had some simple programmatic access to the
  specialness of a symbol.  this would have been covered by the environment
  access functions that were not included in the standard.