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Re: proposal to make null string handling more emacs-y

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: proposal to make null string handling more emacs-y
Date: Sat, 28 Apr 2012 13:02:06 -0400

    As a (semi-fake) "Schemer", I can say that it's perfectly fine in
    practice too.  It catches real errors.  In analogy to what you wrote a
    few seconds later -- it catches errors that would otherwise get
    papered over.

The benefit of making () and false the same in Lisp is NOT a matter of
suppressing errors.  The benefit is that we can simplify programs by
knowing that () and false are the same.

If these cases happen in Scheme, they are errors.  However, in Lisp it
is very convenient that the empty list also represents false.

Equating () and "" might perhaps give some benefit of simplifying
programs.  You could try looking for places where you could take
advantage of that, to see how much convenience it gives.  But this is
a different matter from avoiding errors.

I tend to think the benefit won't be big, but you can try to show
I'm wrong.

I am not sure there is any benefit to the fact that () is the same as
(intern "nil").

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation
51 Franklin St
Boston MA 02110
www.fsf.org  www.gnu.org
Skype: No way! That's nonfree (freedom-denying) software.
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