lord at emf.net
Mon Mar 23 20:26:53 EDT 2009
On Mon, 2009-03-23 at 19:34 -0400, David Van Horn wrote:
> Thomas Lord wrote:
> > "Unspecified" seems like the accurate spec.
> (string->number string) procedure
> (string->number string radix) procedure
> It is clear that the intention was that string->number could only be
> applied either to a string or to string and an exact integer that is
> either 2, 8, 10, or 16---both from the text of the report and from the
> recent emails by the editors.
It is not hard to imagine generalizations.
One can easily imagine (quite serious, not
fake example) extensions to "string->number"
to support additional types and numbers of
It is hard to imagine a set of generalizations
that everyone would agree every implementation
ought to have.
So, how to handle these "edge cases"?
An exception? Return #f? Something else (say,
perhaps, making the function a generic in the CL
Who is to say?
Scheme is thought to be, in some sense a gem crystal
but I think as a community we don't all agree yet
about its lattice structure and hence macroscopic
shape. We're "blind" to it, each groping its surface
and sharing guesses - like the old "blind men and
That's what "unspecified" is for.
> If this is unspecified, the word "must" would mean very little in the
Wouldn't it mean something like "must if the
behavior of the program is expected to be defined
by this report"? That seems like saying quite
a lot, even by my relatively loquacious standards.
> An erratum clarifying the note seems appropriate.
Only in a very sad way, to me.
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