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Re: Why :USE sucks in the Common Lisp package system

From: phoe
Subject: Re: Why :USE sucks in the Common Lisp package system
Date: Sun, 10 May 2020 11:59:39 +0200

On 10.05.2020 10:53, Helmut Eller wrote:
> Common Lisp also has something similar with, ahem, :IMPORT-FROM or
> manually with IMPORT.  But as usual, it's more fun to rant about how
> unusable Common Lisp is.

I'm not ranting how unusable it is here; I'm saying what I consider to
be a mistake in retrospect that other languages IMO should learn from as
they build their namespacing.

Thirty years ago, people did not really care about namespace pollution,
namespace versioning, or even about library versioning much; nowadays,
it turns out to be a big problem, as someone mentioned earlier in the

Common Lisp, including ASDF and Quicklisp, has no good solution for
library versioning, let alone package export or namespace versioning.
All standard Quicklisp dists are just bundled together after verifying
that they load on a single image, and version pinning of individual
dists is left as an exercise for the programmer. (Even Alexandria stayed
on version 0.0.0[0] for *years* before I've actually asked it to be

It is not *too* much of an issue since the Common Lisp world is not a
very big one compared to other programming languages, but as the CL
ecosystem grows, I expect that it'll start to become a somewhat pressing
matter eventually.


[0] https://gitlab.common-lisp.net/alexandria/alexandria/-/commit/6bb56b6c
[1] https://gitlab.common-lisp.net/alexandria/alexandria/-/issues/7

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