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Re: compare function return values



bear wrote:
Hooboy.  Is this an actual scheme implementation?  I haven't looked at
others, but I can't store the overhead involved with a symbol (scopes,
locations, lexical contours, contexts, variable values, weak references,
etc) in less than 64 bytes.  Am I just doing something horribly wrong?

Well, we all make tradeoffs.  But having a "lexical contour" field in
a symbol is at best an efficiency hack.  A cleaner solution is a
lexical counter hash table indexed by the symbol.

Common Lisp's "value binding" (and function binding) components are
also a hack.  For one thing they don't work with multiple threads.

I agree that the numbers don't express the values you actually mean
here, and I dislike that semantic untidiness.  To say "-1" when I
mean "increasing" is as irritating as saying "27" when I mean "escape"
or 'a' when I mean "43" or "0" when I mean "false."  The only reason
to put up with this semantic blurring, IMO, is because you can use
numbers to index arrays or in further computations, and because doing
so is the most straightforward and useful way to use those results.

Well, using {-1, 0, 1} is fairly conventional in other languages
(including C, C++, and Java), and there is the mathematical signum
function.  There is something to be said for stick with what works.
Plus using a symbol is awkward because it is hard to avoid it
being human-langauge-specific - unless you use '<, '=, and '> I guess.

Let's stick with {-1, 0, 1}.
--
	--Per Bothner
per@xxxxxxxxxxx   http://per.bothner.com/