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bug#9082: Add hints to documentation of car and cdr for (e)lisp newcomer


From: Lars Magne Ingebrigtsen
Subject: bug#9082: Add hints to documentation of car and cdr for (e)lisp newcomers
Date: Thu, 14 Jul 2011 22:37:53 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.110018 (No Gnus v0.18) Emacs/24.0.50 (gnu/linux)

address@hidden (Adam Sjøgren) writes:

> Sure, you can quickly try them, or you can figure out why the
> (elisp)Cons cells link doesn't work in your emacs-snapshot instance and

Funnily enough, I think I fixed that bug earlier today.  :-)

> read up on it there, or you can find the answer on wikipedia - but just
> a little hint in the documentation of the functions we are talking about
> would have quenched the frustration instantly.
>
> The target demographic for these texts surely would be someone for whom
> "car returns the car, cdr returns the cdr" isn't helping?

It's really hard to explain these two functions, because they are so
simple and have little intrinsic meaning.  Which is why they were called
why they're called, and not `first' and `rest' (which also has
proponents).

If a user sees

(setq a '(foo . bar))
(zot (cdr a))

I don't see how looking up `cdr' and seeing "(rest)" really
unconfuses all that much.  Pointing to the manual is the only thing that
will help here, in my opinion.

-- 
(domestic pets only, the antidote for overdose, milk.)
  bloggy blog http://lars.ingebrigtsen.no/





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