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Re: Installing cond* in core

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: Installing cond* in core
Date: Sun, 28 Jan 2024 15:58:19 +0000

Hello, Stefan.

On Sat, Jan 27, 2024 at 16:26:17 -0800, Stefan Kangas wrote:
> Alan Mackenzie <acm@muc.de> writes:

> > Can you further confirm that there will be no technical advantages given
> > to pcase over cond*?

> I see cond* as an alternative to pcase for those that prefer it.
> This is one consequence of deciding not to get rid of pcase.

> > In particular, that condstar.el will be in lisp/emacs-lisp,

> We didn't discuss that.  I'd put it in lisp/, myself.

That would make it unusable early in the bootstrap, putting it at a
disadvantage to pcase.

> > and that it will be available from early mid-bootstrap onwards, just
> > as pcase is?

> We didn't discuss that.  It sounds like a separate change from adding
> cond* to core, and I'm not sure it makes sense to commit to it off-hand,
> without first understanding the details.

> In general, there is no point to loading something early unless it is
> used early.  Do you have something more specific in mind?

Yes.  I outlined a few days ago my idea of tidying up the bootstrap
process by using cond* in macroexp.el, thus allowing the files loaded by
loadup.el to be in a more natural order.  This idea was vetoed by Eli,
at least for the moment.  But it seems like a good idea not to rule out
similar changes in the future.

> > On this point, it's worth noting that pcase was silently slipped into
> > Emacs in the dead of night without any public discussion, and was then
> > widely proliferated through working code, again without discussion.
> > That has relevance to "alienation", and goes some way towards explaining
> > my attitude towards cond* and pcase.

> I can't speak to that, as I wasn't around.

> I would propose that we start looking forward, and go back to working on
> the things that we enjoy and find interesting.  That's likely to be more
> productive than discussing the details of how things happened or didn't
> happen 14 years ago.

The events of 14 years ago have a profound influence on the present and
future.  I'm somewhat disappointed that the solution you've come up with
for cond* is not going to help me at all, though I understand how and
why you made it.  It's basically leave things as they are and ignore
cond*.  In ten years time, I'm still going to be faced with inscrutable
pcases when debugging code, and that will still slow me down just as
much as it does today.

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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