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Re: Lexical binding -- do we really need it?

From: Sam Steingold
Subject: Re: Lexical binding -- do we really need it?
Date: 11 Dec 2001 12:14:18 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.1.50

> * In message <address@hidden>
> * On the subject of "Re: Lexical binding -- do we really need it?"
> * Sent on Tue, 11 Dec 2001 09:57:14 +0100
> * Honorable Per Abrahamsen <address@hidden> writes:
> Sam Steingold <address@hidden> writes:
> > We must evolve Emacs-Lisp away from the ancient paradigms, such as
> > all-dynamic bindings, and towards the modern concepts, such as CLOS,
> > packages, threads and, yes, lexical bindings.
> Actually, I think the largest problem with allowing an implementaion
> of lexical scope is exactly what you describe above.  We risk changing
> the focus of Emacs from creating the createst editor of all time, into
> the kind of language design issues loved by the Lisp community.

We are already wasting the resources on discussions.  :-)
The cost of Emacs-Lisp "upgrade" is a one-time cost of 2-3 people doing
the design spec and the rest of us implementing it.
The cost of non-upgrade is born every day by all the developers, package
maintainers, and users.

(actually I do agree with you that the "language design issues" plague
is to be avoided - that's why I limited the design team to 2-3 people).

> I believe lexical binding is a good Emacs feature for one, and only
> one, reason.  It delivers the promise of much better optimizations,
> and the low speed of Emacs Lisp code is a real bottleneck for real
> applications.

Yep.  We all have pet peeves with Emacs Lisp. :-)

> PS: If we should make language changes to reduce bugs, the one feature
> that would help most would be optional static type checks.  I feel
> safe mentioning this, knowing that this will never happen in a Lisp
> based community.

don't be so hasty - CMUCL does a lot of type checks, many of them

Sam Steingold (http://www.podval.org/~sds)
Keep Jerusalem united! <http://www.onejerusalem.org/Petition.asp>
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