Common Lisp community people discuss technical issues over the ARPA net, but how are these
brought into the X3J13 committee and resolved so that they are reflected in the standard? How
will proposals by prepared so they can be circulated and displayed on a variety of computer screens
and also show the formatting and fonts of the final standard? Who will actually write things and
who will manage the document?
What will be the scope of the eventual proposed standard? Will it be basically what is in the Steele
book now or will it include some additional features? The ISO standard will probably be defined
in terms of levels. Will these levels be appropriate for subset implementations? How closely will
they correspond to the kind of options implementors need for different classes of machines?
Will the levels match the way more complex features are introduced in teaching or in use?
For all of the above questions there are partial answers (some people might say complete answers,
but a complete answer also involves convincing others). X3J13 has begun addressing them. X3J13
has had and will have on its agenda: l) detailed issues and "corrections" to the Steele book, 2)
Common Lisp object system proposals, 3) reexamination of the function/value cell decision, 4)
error systems needs and proposals, 5) conformance testing and validation, 6) levels and subsets
within Common Lisp, 7) the relationship of Scheme and Common Lisp, and other topics (window
systems, graphics, extended character sets, numerics, linkage to other languages and cross language
standards, and so on).
Next time, I will begin reviewing some of the X3JI3 discussions on these topics and giving an indication
of their status. People are welcome to contact me directly for more information or to
contribute to the X3J13 discussions.
"I think there's a world market for about five computers." Thomas J. Watson, IBM Chairman, 1943
"With over 50 foreign cars already on sale here, the Japanese auto
industry isn't likely to carve out a big slice of the U.S. market for
itself." Business Week, 1958
"TV won't be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six
months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every
night." Daryl F. Zanuck, Head of 20th Century Fox, 1946
"By 1980, all power (electric, atomic, solar) is likely to be virtually
costless." Henry Luce, founder and publisher of Time, Life, and Fortune,
"1930 will be a splendid employment year." U.S. Department of Labor, 1929
"My imagination refuses to see any sort of submarine doing anything but
suffocating its crew and floundering at sea." H.G. Wells, 1902
"Airplanes are interesting toys, but of no military value." France's
Marshall Foch, 1941