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bug#17474: Making *unspecified* equivalent to (values) would seem conven

From: David Kastrup
Subject: bug#17474: Making *unspecified* equivalent to (values) would seem convenient
Date: Mon, 12 May 2014 21:49:43 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.4.50 (gnu/linux)

address@hidden (Ludovic Courtès) writes:

> David Kastrup <address@hidden> skribis:
>> address@hidden (Ludovic Courtès) writes:
>>> R5RS defines ‘values’ as:
>>>      (define (values . things)
>>>        (call-with-current-continuation
>>>          (lambda (cont) (apply cont things))))
>>> Thus, a conforming implementation must raise a run-time error when the
>>> continuation of a (values) form expects one or more values.
>> No.  From R5RS:
>>  -- procedure: call-with-current-continuation proc
>> [...]
>>      The escape procedure accepts the same number of arguments as the
>>      continuation to the original call to
>>      call-with-current-continuation.  Except for continuations created
>>      by the `call-with-values' procedure, all continuations take
>>      exactly one value.  The effect of passing no value or more than
>>      one value to continuations that were not created by
>>      call-with-values is unspecified.
> Oh indeed, I stand corrected.
>> So this behavior is neither out of line, nor against the standard.  It
>> is merely a more convenient behavior for a situation that the standard
>> left unspecified.
> Right.
> I’m not completely convinced it makes sense to “specify” the zero values
> case in this way, but I’d like to hear what others think.

The real awkwardness is not when feeding (values) to a single-value
continuation but rather the ability of single-value expressions being
able to pass zero values to a multi-value continuation.

In Guilev1, there was a lot of those around, and indeed
(call-with-values (lambda () (car (list (values)))) list) => ()
in Guilev1.

But in Guile 2.0.9, I actually get the same, and I don't think people
reported bugs for that.

This design does not win a beauty contest.  But at least it fits several
parts of Guile and the API together in a less ugly and more satisfactory
manner than before while providing a really large amount of backward

I don't really know whether there are assumptions in the compiler it
might break.  So this change would certainly also want testing with
large applications and should not be introduced shortly before a stable

David Kastrup

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