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Re: Help sought understanding shorthands wrt modules/packages

From: João Távora
Subject: Re: Help sought understanding shorthands wrt modules/packages
Date: Wed, 2 Nov 2022 20:11:58 +0000

Hi Gerd, I'm there one who implemented shorthands in Emacs, and i sure don't think they are a substitute for CL packages. 

They can solve some namespacing problems and they can also offer some convenience for library writing (see github.com/joaotavora/beardbolt for an example). But they're infinitely inferior to proper CL packages, especially with the package-local nickname extension.

It's "what could be arranged" to use a silly portuguesism.


On Sun, Oct 30, 2022, 06:46 Gerd Möllmann <gerd.moellmann@gmail.com> wrote:
Since Richard is swamped with mails, I'd like to try and ask some
questions here.

To start with---I have no problem understanding the shorthands
mechanism, that's easy enough.  (To be honest, I have to admit I don't
like the idea, for reasons I won't go into here, but that's another
story.  A mechanism will find its uses, I guess :-).

My problem is understanding why anyone would think shorthands are an
alternative to or substitute for packages.  I mean in principle, and
regardless of packages being Common Lisp packages or any other form of
module system.  I simply can't get it.

So, I guess my first question is: does anyone here think shorthands are
a substitute got packages, and if so could you please share your thought
why, and how one would use them for that?  If not, it might also be
helpful to know why not.

And my second question os: Because I don't get it, I'm considering the
possibility that shorthands are still incomplete, and some features are
missing that would make it a substitute for a module system.  Something
that's not documented anywhere, apparently.  If so, what is it?  Or
where is it described?  Or does someone have an idea?  You know what I

Finally, here's why I don't get the idea:

According to me, shorthands don't address the problem
packages/modules/namespaces are trying to do deal with _at all_, which
is programming in the large, which means that large programs with many
and diverse contributors suffer from name conflicts.

The reason why I think shorthands don't address that problem is pretty
simple, according to me again: The underlying one obarray can only
contain one name per symbol at a time.  So, whatever name lands in the
obarray must be unique, as it always was.  And this of course leads to
conflicts.  Whether or not the unique name can otherwise be used in
abbreviated form or not doesn't change anything in this regard.

Or am I going nuts and overlooking the obvious?

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