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Re: Strange memoizing behavior

From: Michael Livshin
Subject: Re: Strange memoizing behavior
Date: 24 Jan 2002 20:46:50 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.0808 (Gnus v5.8.8) XEmacs/21.4 (Copyleft)

Matthias Koeppe <address@hidden> writes:

> Michael Livshin <address@hidden> writes:
> > in the paragraph I've cut away you (as I understand) have suggested a
> > way to avoid *calling* macros that are passed as values.  right?
> Exactly.
> > I simply fail to see what the ability to pass macros as values buys
> > you, so what I'm suggesting is that this ability is taken out from
> > Guile altogether.  macros shouldn't be first class.  
> Thanks for the clarification.
> I disagree, however.  I like Guile's current introspection features,
> including the ability to get at the macro transformer, etc.

or, surely it's a nice capability.  but to judge it fully, you have to
consider what it buys you, whether what it buys you is available by
other means, and what it costs you.

since I don't yet see what exactly first-class macros buy you, I'm not
yet disputing your judgement.  the cost (hostility to compilation) is
clear right now, however, and is (IMHO) quite considerable.

> As thi pointed out, we would lose introspecting procedures if we
> forbid passing macro arguments to procedures.  (Passing the
> macro-designating symbols to the introspecting procedures instead
> would break Guile's ability to put syntax (macros) into modules, I
> think, and would also feel quite non-Schemey.)

I'd love it if you would tell what you use those introspection
facilities for, and whether it would be impossible to use `eval'
instead (hey, if you already confined Guile to be forever interpreted,
than `eval' is fantastically cheap anyway, right?).

I think that wanting to be more dynamic than Common Lisp is a Silly
Idea, overall, but as I said I probably don't see all the usefullness
of this eval-free macro introspection, so I'll be very grateful if you
ignore my snottiness and elaborate further.


In an experiment to determine the precise amount of beer required to
enjoy this film, I passed out.     -- dave o'brien, on Highlander II

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