[Openmcl-devel] Docstring question

Gary Byers gb at clozure.com
Mon Sep 18 07:04:16 UTC 2006


It's probably some mixture of all of the above (er, below).  MCL originally ran
on 1MB MacPlus machines, and eliminating doc strings from the memory image
(they were distributed in a separate file) was a simple way of trying to
keep the memory footprint small (if all doc strings added up to a few hundred
Kbytes, that would have had a very significant impact on things; getting
rid of them (moving them to a separate file) was low-hanging fruit.

OpenMCL started as an attempt to develop a lisp for embedded systems
(spacecraft, robots) and even though the constraints were a little
different that was still a memory-constrained environment, so some of
the things that MCL had done to keep the footprint small (like
neglecting to retain doc strings) were still useful.

It was only about a year ago that the bootstrapping processed started
preserving doc strings from the files in the level-0 directory, and
around that time that Bryan O'Connor tried to ensure that many CL
functions and variables and documented CCL package things had doc strings.


The original motivation for avoiding doc strings is, of course, long
gone.


On Sat, 16 Sep 2006, Phil wrote:

> Just curious, is there any reason (resource usage, preference,
> history, or other) for the minimal use of docstrings in the OpenMCL
> source code?
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