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Re: [Axiom-developer] Translation of the interp to lisp

From: root
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] Translation of the interp to lisp
Date: Sat, 5 Aug 2006 13:58:52 -0400

> A question Tim, if I may.  In looking at sys-pkg.lisp, it seems like
> there are a rather large number of import and export commands contained
> there.  Is this normal in lisp to have to hand-import and hand-export
> so many symbols?  Also, I'm a bit confused by the BOOT and VMLISP
> package relations - are they in fact cross-pollinating and importing
> from/exporting to each other?  If so, wouldn't it be a bit cleaner to
> get the common functionality into one package and have both BOOT and
> VMLISP use that one?

Note that Axiom was written before common lisp existed. The initial
common lisps and other prior lisps (like MACLISP, VMLISP, etc) did
not have the idea of a "package" so I had to globally modify the
code to make it work in common lisp (some of which had incompatible
implementations before the standard).

SYS-PKG was a hack to enable/disable package symbols in various lisps.
It is poorly designed, badly implemented, horribly documented, and
unmaintained. I think they should transfer the programmer who wrote
it to a non-lisp related job or (equivalently) lift his license to 
program. In short, it is a hack and will go away in the rewrite.


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