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Re: How many arguments to a macro transformer?



On Sat, 23 Jul 2005, Keith Wright wrote:

Oops!  I said:

On the other hand, it seems more consistant if

 (define-syntax (swap! a b) <body)

were the same as

 (define-syntax swap! (lambda ( _ a b) <body> ))

which implies that swap! is right and the rest of
the program is wrong.

I just noticed that this is a change you made in
the last revision,


Yes, I indeed made the change so that the short form

  (define-syntax (swap! a b)

corresponds to the long form

  (define-syntax swap!
    (lambda (form)
      (let ((a (cadr  form))
            (b (caddr form)))

and /not/

  (define-syntax swap!
    (lambda (_ a b) ....

which I had before. While this latter (discarded) format would have been more brief for certain simple (especially lexical) macros, notice that it requires the input form to be a proper list and is therefore less general than the long form

  (define-syntax swap!
    (lambda (form)

which can accept dotted lists or (perhaps in future) even single identifiers.

The long form is now compatible with the SYNTAX-CASE system. However, the short form above is not. Indeed, I find the short form

  (define-syntax (swap! a b)

more useful than the relatively recently introduced SYNTAX-CASE one:

  (define-syntax (swap! form)

even though the latter would conform more to one's expectations from experience with DEFINE.

Cheers
Andre