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Re: evaluating numbers

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: evaluating numbers
Date: Tue, 28 Apr 2020 23:23:01 -0400

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  > > Is that the reason why characters are integers in emacs lisp too ?

  > If you are asking why this happened historically, then I don't know: I
  > wasn't there.  Maybe Richard can answer that.

I decided to represent characters using integers that just to keep
Emacs simple and small.  In the 1980s, people wanted to run Emacs on
machines with 1 meg of memory and a hard limit on process size.  I had
to work hard to make that operate at all.

A separate character type would have required a number of extra
conversion and test functions as well as read and print support.

Those space considerations are no longer significant.  But there may
be another problem: whether there is room in the representation of
Lisp_Object for another type.

Dr Richard Stallman
Chief GNUisance of the GNU Project (https://gnu.org)
Founder, Free Software Foundation (https://fsf.org)
Internet Hall-of-Famer (https://internethalloffame.org)

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