Subject: Re: A modest proposal (long)
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 2000/03/02
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

| All I'm trying to claim is that this example shows that the problem is
| not confined to beginners.

  but your example doesn't show any such thing!  that people are not
  following the asterisk convention is _not_ the problem.  the problem as
  stated is that there's a lambda list or let binding somewhere with a
  symbol in it that has special binding which comes as a _surprise_ to
  people who are moderately (but not overly) intimate with the code.  do
  you have evidence of that, or is this only more unfounded fear that there
  _might_ be a problem?  incidentally, I recognize that there _might_ be a
  problem, the solution to which is to make the system easier to query for
  such information.  I don't see any other problems that need solving.

  my philosophy, in case you need to have it stated to avoid speculating
  about it, is that in order to serve the needs of any community, one must
  never, _ever_ to cater to the needs of ignorants and novices except in
  carefully controlled settings where the express purpose is to make them
  non-ignorants and non-novices, such as school or training courses.