Subject: Re: Allegro compilation warnings
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 2000/10/12
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Marco Antoniotti <>
| The DEFSYSTEM utility is *not* part of CLTL2.  You are probably
| referring to the DEFSYSTEM which come with ACL.  This is not
| portable.

  What utter hogwash!  You know better than this, Marco, so don't try
  to play presidential campaigns on us, even though the rest of the
  media does its best to dumb down to the level of the two jerkfaces.

  Here's a hint: The implementation of the function CAR in Common Lisp
  is not portable.  Still, portable Common Lisp programs may use CAR.
  How _can_ this be?  How can we possibly use non-portable software to
  write portable programs?  This must be a mystery to people who buy
  your line, Marco!  Provided they think about it at all.
| Instead, MK-DEFSYSTEM is.

  _Really_?  You're clearly saying that if I use MK-DEFSYSTEM, I can't
  "port" the build rules to Allegro CL's defsystem and vice versa, are
  you not?  How f**king portable is that?

  _Designing_ for multiple, incompatible defsystems so we can't move
  build rules around is such an incredibly moronic thing to do that it
  ought to result in public flogging while being forced to watch every
  presidential campaign ad.

  Weren't you the guy who only a short time ago argued that XML was a
  move in the right direction?  My argument against XML is that it
  doesn't help squat with the real problem, which is that data is so
  dependent on the interpretation of the structure being represented
  that the syntax is immaterial in comparison.  Now you go and prove
  my whole case by having a DEFSYSTEM wherein the build rules, which
  are _way_ more important to a user than whether the implementation
  machinery is or is not portable, are worthless if he switches the
  "application" that uses those build rules, and he has to encode his
  old data in a new format, which is supposedly "portable", just like
  XML is "portable" on some irrelevant scale, and therefore "better"?

  Methinks you've been had, big time, by the XML hype and have missed
  the opportunity to think about information representation entirely,
  instead confused into thinking that some irrelevant piece of the
  puzzle needs to be "portable" (the syntax or the implementation),
  and that that's it, we can all relax now and ignore the cost of
  conversion, irritation with subtle differences, and the mysterious
  bugs that crop up because we poor humans remember too well.

  This is why XML is _not_ s step in the right direction: It works
  just like a pacifier on screaming babies who are duped into feeling
  they got something good stuffed into their face and so they stop
  screaming for whatever they _really_ wanted (love, compassion, body
  contact, etc, clearly not as easy to market as some disgusting piece
  of plastic, but hey, let's just shut the kids up, just like we can
  make all those stupid crying users shut up with some irrelevant hype
  that goes nowhere and does nothing for them!).  Stop treating people
  like screaming babies and grow up, damn it!  It's the _information_
  that needs to be portable -- to hell with "portable" implementations
  that make that information non-portable or some "portable" syntax
  that makes it even harder _actually_ to get portable information.

  Disclaimer 1: This is why I haven't even _looked_ at MK-DEFSYSTEM,
  so I'm just taking Marco's word for it that it is incompatible with
  Allegro CL's defsystem and every other defsystem by implication.

  Disclaimer 2: I started using Allegro CL's defsystem because it was
  there, well integrated into the full system, not because I made any
  conscious decision to use that defsystem in particular.  It was just
  there when I needed it.  Having spent lots of time understanding how
  to use it and extend it and how it works, I'm not going to throw it
  away for some new shit just because it has a portable implementation
  that's going to be a helpful feature exactly _once_ in its lifetime.

  I agree with everything you say, but I would
  attack to death your right to say it.
				-- Tom Stoppard