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Re: [Axiom-developer] Re: libaxiom.a

From: Ralf Hemmecke
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] Re: libaxiom.a
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2006 23:04:03 +0200
User-agent: Thunderbird 1.5 (X11/20051201)

Hi Bill,

... I am proposing to remove NIL (or at least to hide it
in some low level library), since in my eyes that sounds
not very mathematical. If I want an empty list, it is much better to say "empty$List(...)" than "NIL$Lisp".
Don't you agree?

Sure. It's only a name. Maybe the notation:


is even better? (We can hope the compiler optimizes this too.)

Maybe someone knows better than me, but I am very much thinking that the compiler has no chance to optimize that.

The reason is very simple.

"[]" is the same as "bracket()" and there is no **program code** that says that "bracket()" should be equal to the constant "empty". That equality is currently a reasonable convention, but it is a **convention**.

In order to optimize, the compiler would have to analyze "List" very carefully. I think that is impossible. Am I wrong?


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