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RE: "Bringing GNU Emacs to Native Code" at the European Lisp Symposium

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: "Bringing GNU Emacs to Native Code" at the European Lisp Symposium
Date: Wed, 29 Apr 2020 08:35:23 -0700 (PDT)

> > FWIW, I don't agree with this prognostication
> > or point of view, from the paper, starting
> > after "since":
> >
> >  "The proposed compiler focuses on generating
> >   code for the new lexically scoped dialect only,
> >   since the dynamic one is considered obsolete
> >   and close to deprecation."
> >
> > Dunno who, besides perhaps Stefan, considers
> > dynamic binding in Elisp to be "obsolete and
> > close to deprecation".  That would be a mistake.
> >
> > IMO, Emacs Lisp should, like Common Lisp and for
> > even stronger reasons, continue to make use of
> > both dynamic and lexical binding.  Each has its
> > uses in Elisp.
> As the reference in the previous phrase explains
> this is just about what we control in Emacs with
> the `lexical-binding' variable.

Dunno what previous phrase you refer to.  That
variable isn't mentioned in the paper (other
than appearing in a code example).

A suggestion would be to be explicit about this
in the future - or else explain the phrase.

I personally think the phrase used is confusing,
and perhaps misleading.  Yes, one could argue
that variable `lexical-binding' kind of splits
Elisp currently into two languages.  But that's
not a usual way of looking at it, and it's not
the way that Emacs talks about itself.

At some point the default value of that variable
may be (will likely be) `t' - a good thing, IMO.
At that point, there'll be no possibility to
speak of such "dialects".  My opinion would be
to also avoid speaking of them now.

Count me as one who was misled/confused by that
particular phrase, and doesn't think it's
helpful without some explanation.

> Apologies if you think this could have been
> phrased better, I hope the misunderstanding
> is clarified.

No need to apologize, at all.  It's clear to me
now; thank you for clarifying.

And thanks for the great work (!) and clear
paper about it.

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