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Re: Proper namespaces in Elisp

From: Daniel Colascione
Subject: Re: Proper namespaces in Elisp
Date: Thu, 7 May 2020 14:10:18 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.7.0

On 5/7/20 2:06 PM, Stefan Monnier wrote:
You need not only discover the defining forms but also the "using"
forms.  So you need to know that the arguments to `make-local-variable`,
`add-hook`, `symbol-value`, `facep`, ... (and all function that pass
their arg to one of those) are not just random symbols (that you should
leave untouched) but symbols that obey the namespace rules.
I think these situations are rare enough that we can ask people to pass
fully-qualified symbols.

Experts would have no trouble dealing with that, indeed, but it would
introduce extra complexity which will negatively affect the average
user, I feel.

FWIW, I think elisp should just literally copy Common Lisp's approach.

I thought your previous message was saying you don't like this approach
(when you said "I don't like reader magic").  Is it that I misunderstood
or that you don't much like the solution but think that from a pragmatic
point of view it's still the better option?

I don't like reader magic in general, but I don't think of the CL approach as being all that magical: it has uniform rules and a long history. CL namespaces *are* reader magic all right, but it's reader magic with which a lot of people are familiar and that has proven over a few decades now to be workable. I think the CL solution is the most pragmatic one. I'm much more opposed to ad-hoc, Emacs-specific reader magic.

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