LISP and Symbolic Computation

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 81-101

First online:

Endpaper: Technical issues of separation in function cells and value cells

  • Richard P. GabrielAffiliated withLucid, Inc. and Stanford University
  • , Kent M. PitmanAffiliated withSymbolics, Inc.

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The bulk of arguments that focus on clean semantics and notational simplicity tend to favor uniting the function and value namespaces. In spite of this, there are those who hold strongly to a belief that a two-namespace system affords useful expressive power that they are unwilling to do without. In the end, practical considerations favor the status quo for Common Lisp. There are a large number of improvements beyond a single namespace that could be made to Common Lisp that would clean it up and simplify it. We feel that the time for such radical changes to Common Lisp has passed, and it is the job of future Lisp designers to take the lessons from Common Lisp and Scheme to produce an improved Lisp.