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[Axiom-developer] Axiom's Sane redesign musings

From: Tim Daly
Subject: [Axiom-developer] Axiom's Sane redesign musings
Date: Sat, 20 Jul 2019 03:27:53 -0400

When injured, I often use the phrase "Well, learning occurred".

I just spent the last day chasing a circular reference problem
in the meta-object protocol (MOP) which is the basis of the
Common Lisp Object System (CLOS). It turns out that the
"circular reference" is a REALLY bad error message. It won't
bore you with the deails but it the usual "Wow, I found a bug
in the system" thing.

But I'm too experienced ("old") to believe that. After a day of
creating ever-smaller versions of the input I finally cornered it.

That's when I found a one-line paragraph in the MOP that
tells me when "finalize-inheritance" will be called. After much
Omphaloskepsis I translated that to "that's obvious, so it must
be my bug"... (spoiler alert) ... which it was.

Well, learning occurred.

So I'm going to concentrate REALLY hard on making Sane
give, not only an error message, but a likely thing to check.
The error message should also include references into the
literate documentation for a deeper explanation.


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