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What's missing in ELisp that makes people want to use cl-lib?

From: Stefan Kangas
Subject: What's missing in ELisp that makes people want to use cl-lib?
Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2023 08:39:21 -0700

Richard Stallman <rms@gnu.org> writes:

> The specific practical questions I've asked are efforts to evaluate
> where we are now along that spectrum.  Of course, the answer to that
> isn't precise either.  But I was very surprised to learn how far
> Emacs has gone towards the latter end.

It seems to me that the extent to which Emacs has shifted "towards the
latter end" is still open to interpretation.

More fundamentally, I believe the question we should be asking isn't the
quantity of cl-lib used in Emacs, but rather why these abstractions from
Common Lisp appeal to ELisp developers.  Most ELisp developers, I
presume, do not have a background in Common Lisp, indicating that their
choice to use cl-lib.el isn't driven by a mere affinity for CL.

Is it possible that certain abstractions or functions are filling a gap
in Emacs Lisp itself?  In the case of `cl-pushnew', I happen to think
that the answer is yes.

Discussing `cl-pushnew' and other cases like it might help us identify
areas for improvement in Emacs Lisp proper.  Perhaps we can borrow the
CL name/behavior, or perhaps we can come up with something even better.
That would be more constructive, and more helpful, than spending our
time changing code to not use cl-lib.el just for the sake of it.

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