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Re: DynamicBindingVsLexicalBinding

From: Barry Margolin
Subject: Re: DynamicBindingVsLexicalBinding
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2013 10:26:54 -0400
User-agent: MT-NewsWatcher/3.5.3b3 (Intel Mac OS X)

In article <address@hidden>,
 address@hidden (Phillip Lord) wrote:

> Perhaps my understanding is not complete, but I always thought that
> dynamic and static binding was about variables that are unbound. If we
> have global variables with mutable state, then as far as I can see, you
> could do something equivalent with either.
> So, this...
> (defun perldoc ()
>   (interactive)
>   (require 'man)
>   (let ((manual-program "perldoc"))
>     (call-interactively 'man)))
> is nearly equivalent to 
> (defun perldoc()
>   (interactive)
>   (require 'man)
>   (let ((old manual-program))
>     (setq manual-program "perldoc")
>     (call-interactively 'man)
>     (setq manual-program old))
> If we were multi-threaded, then AFAICT, the let version would be
> cleaner -- as the altered manual-program is *only* in the dynamic
> environment of the call to the perldoc command. So another call to the
> man function would be unaffected. While the second changes global state,
> and then changes it back. But, we aren't.

You also need unwind-protect to ensure that the value is reverted if the 
code aborts.

With that fix, it's essentially how most implementations of dynamic 
binding worked in single-threaded Lisps. But multi-threaded Lisps need 
to add hooks into thread switching.

Barry Margolin, address@hidden
Arlington, MA
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