Identity. The document below, "X3J13 DRAFT Purposes" (document X3J13/86-020) has been typed back in from a hardcopy (and therefore might contain transcription errors).
Authority. This was a DRAFT document. For a period of time, I advertised this version of the document rather than its final form, so I'm leaving it online for reference. It was superseded by Standing Document X3J13/SD-05 on 16-Mar-1987.
Notation. Note, too, that all use of square brackets in the body color are from the original document. The only meta-comments in this document are in green. In general I have tried to keep the look of this document faithful to the original, including underlining, punctuation, line breaks, and spacing.
Although this document was formally a group effort, I personally credit
Susan P. Ennis of Amoco Production Co. for exerting
the leadership necessary to pull together the drafting committee
and coordinate the drafting. I've heard some opine that this was a small
contribution, but I do not regard it as such.
In my personal opinion, it
was one of the most important documents we ever made in our work, because
it was able to resolve deadlocks among people who wanted aesthetics to
dominate over current practice; at such times, we were able to point to the
charter and say "this is already a decided matter", and progress was able
to continue where we might have otherwise been mired forever.
I am personally very thankful to Susan for her efforts in making sure we
did this, since many had at the time opined that it was a waste of time
and it might well not have ended up done without her prodding.
--Kent Pitman, Sunday, April 18, 1999
X3J13 DRAFT Purposes Doc: X3J13/86-020 for consideration at March 1987 meeting Purposes of X3J13 Committee (Proposed) 1. X3J13 is chartered to produce an American National Standard for Common Lisp. It will codify existing practice, provide extensions [amendment: change the word "extensions" to "additional features".] to facilitate portability of code among diverse implementations, and establish normative Common Lisp programming practice. 2. The committee will begin with the language described in Common Lisp: The Language by Guy L. Steele Jr. (Digital Press, 1984), which is the current de facto standard for Common Lisp. Whenever there is a proposal for the standard to differ from Common Lisp: The Language, the committee shall weigh both future costs of adopting (or not adopting) a change and costs of conversion of existing code. Aesthetic criteria shall be a subordinate consideration. 3. The committee will address at least the following topics in the course of producing the standard, in each case either incorporating specific features or explaining why no action was taken: (a) Repairing mistakes, ambiguities, and minor ommissions in Common Lisp: The Language (b) Error handling and condition signalling (c) Semantics of compilation (d) Object-oriented programming (e) Iteration constructions (f) Multiprocessing (g) Graphics (h) Windows (i) Validation (j) One versus two namespaces for functions and variables Topics (a)-(c) concern deficiencies in Common Lisp: The Language that require resolution. Topics (d) and (e) are not addressed by Common Lisp: The Language, but appear to be well-understood and ready for standardization. Topics (f)-(i) concern areas where standardization is desirable but not crucial to production of a standard. Topic (j) is an area of current controversy within the Lisp community. Other topics may be considered if specific proposals are received. 4. The committee recognizes that Lisp Programming practice will continue to evolve and anticipates the need for future revisions and extensions to the standard. This may include a family of Lisps and/or a layered Lisp model. 5. X3J13 is committed to work with ISO toward an international Lisp standard.