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Re: [PATCH] Interpret #r"..." as a raw string

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: [PATCH] Interpret #r"..." as a raw string
Date: Fri, 05 Mar 2021 00:39:27 -0500

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  > I have noticed that most Lisp reference material does not use the word
  > "literal" to describe source code elements.  Which raises the question:
  > how does Lisp documentation typically talk about these things?

  > In my experience, most references typically don't name them at all.
  > E.g. when talking about strings it might say "the read syntax of a
  > string is ..." but things that satisfy "the read syntax of a string" are
  > never given a name like "string literal."

There is no need to give them a name, because their role in Lisp is
limited and only one section in the manual needs to talk about it.

In documenting Lisp, the printed representation for an object is
a side issue.  We only need to talk about it in one place.

In most programming languages, an expression is text and a program is
text.  That text can contain string literals.  A string literal is the
text in a text that represents a string in an expression.

The manual has to describe the rules for that text at every level.
Including how to write and use string literals.  It may need to discuss
using a string literal in a certain place in an expression.

In Lisp, a program is a data structure.  It does not contain string
literals -- it contains strings.  Thus, various sections of the manual
can talk about what happens if you use a string in a certain
expression, but they don't need to talk about the printed representation
of that expression.

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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