Subject: Re: Access the the second return value?
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 2000/06/28
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Johan Kullstam <>
| there's no accounting for taste.  i happen to like ? and ! over the
| more traditional p and f.

* Erik Naggum
| f?  If this is what I think it is,

* Johan Kullstam <>
| not at all.

  But then you proceed to tell me it is exactly what I think it is: A
  serious confusion of Scheme's childishly amusing use of bang in some
  operators like set!, with Common Lisp's very generalized "set
  field", which originally comes from CLOS, I believe.

| i am not saying use scheme's set!, i am saying we could just as well
| have spelled common-lisp "setf" as "set!" [2].

  No, we couldn't.  ! is overcute, childish, silly, even ridiculous,
  the sort of immature reminders that C programmers who build complex
  prefix systems ["Hungarian" noation] in their variable names use
  because they lose track of type information.  ? at least has _some_
  merit, but its association with ! is not to its credit.

| on the other hand, it's not like spelling matters much and it's
| certainly not worth the bother of changing now.

  Syntax and spelling matters very much.

| no need for fear and loathing time yet.

  OK.  :)

| [1] just my opinion and i realize there's no accounting for taste.
|     p and f are letters and whether to use "-p" or just slap a plain
|     "p" on the end of a predicate is a (albeit very slight) annoyance.

  But the rule is quite simple: If the symbol has a - already, add -p
  at the end, and if not, just add p.

| [2] except for early keyboards back in '62 might not have had any "!"
|     or perhaps it was used for some system function, or maybe someone
|     else just had a different set of tastes.

  Or perhaps it's because it looks dumb.  E.g., suppose I think we
  need a special syntax for conditions, like ending in interrobang.
  Some would think it cute, some would retch and barf in my general
  direction, and hoardes of educators everywhere would think it just
  as bright as the Hungarian notation and destroy the aesthetic sense
  of _another_ generation of programmers, as if Perl and C++ hadn't
  done away with the concept of aesthetics in the first place.

  If this is not what you expected, please alter your expectations.