Allegro CL version 9.0
Moderately revised from 8.2.
8.2 version

Details of the Allegro CL Implementation

This document contains the following sections:

1.0 Implementation introduction
2.0 Data types and array types
3.0 Arrays and short arrays
   3.1 Array short-ness
   3.2 Relationship of arrays to array-like structures
   3.3 Short-arrays in the type hierarchy
      3.3.1 String comparisons with short strings
4.0 Characters
5.0 Autoloading
   5.1 Where the autoloaded files are located
   5.2 Common Lisp symbols
   5.3 Major extensions
   5.4 How to load modules
6.0 Miscellaneous implementation details
   6.1 Extensions to cl:make-package, cl:intern, cl:disassemble, cl:truename, cl:probe-file, cl:open, cl:apropos, etc.
      6.1.1 Extensions to cl:make-package
      6.1.2 Extensions to cl:intern
      6.1.3 Extensions to cl:disassemble
      6.1.4 Extensions to cl:truename
      6.1.5 Extensions to cl:probe-file
      6.1.6 Extensions to cl:open
      6.1.7 Extensions to cl:apropos
      6.1.8 Extensions to cl:interactive-stream-p
   6.2 A comment about with-open-file and timing hazards
   6.3 cl:time implementation
   6.4 cl:directory and cl:ensure-directories-exist
   6.5 cl:loop and the for-as-in-sequence subclause for looping over sequences
   6.6 cl:delete, cl:delete-if, cl:delete-if-not, cl:delete-duplicates: multiprocessing issues
   6.7 Reader macros and cl:*features*
      6.7.1 Features present or missing from *features* in Allegro CL
      6.7.2 The issue of nested conditionals in Allegro CL
   6.8 cl:random and cl:make-random-state
   6.9 cl:make-hash-table
   6.10 cl:make-array
   6.11 cl:namestring
   6.12 cl:defpackage and cl:in-package
   6.13 cl:file-length
   6.14 cl:file-write-date
   6.15 cl:lisp-implementation-version
   6.16 cl:function-lambda-expression
   6.17 Functionality for quickly writing and reading floats
   6.18 cl:provide and cl:require
   6.19 cl:macroexpand and cl:macroexpand-1
   6.20 cl:simple-condition-format-arguments and cl:simple-condition-format-control
   6.21 What user-homedir-pathname does on Windows
   6.22 The standard readtable is read-only, affect on with-standard-io-syntax and modifying the readtable in init files and with -e
   6.23 Validity of value of end arguments to sequence functions not checked
   6.24 Speed and pretty printing
   6.25 class-precedence-list: when is it available?
   6.26 Floating-point infinities and NaNs, and floating-point underflow and overflow
   6.27 The :nat and :unsigned-nat types
   6.28 The #A reader macro
   6.29 Allegro CL print variables can follow the CL print variable value
   6.30 64 bit Allegro CL Implementations
7.0 Platform-specific issues
8.0 Allegro CL and the ANSI CL standard
   8.1 Compatibility with pre-ANSI CLtL-1 in Allegro CL
   8.2 Other package changes and compile-time-too behavior
   8.3 The function data type
   8.4 CLOS and MOP
   8.5 CLOS and MOP conformance
   8.6 CLOS optimization
9.0 Function specs (fspecs)
   9.1 Supported function specs
10.0 Some low-level functionality
   10.1 Windows: GetWinMainArgs2
11.0 Conformance with the ANSI specification

1.0 Implementation introduction

The Common Lisp standard is deliberately vague on many of the specifics of an implementation. The authors of that book were aware that implementation details are dependent on the nature of the hardware and the operating system, as well as the differing priorities of the implementors and the different user communities. This document details some of the specifics of the implementation of and extensions in Allegro CL.

2.0 Data types and array types

Allegro CL contains all of the required Common Lisp data types. Fixnums are signed 30-bit quantities (29 bits of value, one sign bit) on 32-bit machines and signed 61-bit quantities (60 bits of value, one sign bit) on 64 bit machines. There are two distinct floating-point types on all platforms (32 bit and 64 bit floats). Short-float and single-float are equivalent and are 32 bit floats. Double-float and long-float are equivalent and are 64 bit floats.

The distinct array data types are shown in the following list (in the case of the simple arrays, we use suspension points, `...', to indicate that there may be any number of dimensions). When you specify an element-type to make-array, you will get an array whose element type is upgraded-array-element-type applied to the value specified. Arrays of type t are general arrays and arrays of any other type are called specialized arrays. After the list, we give some examples of the types of arrays created with particular values for element-type.

The new short-array type is not mentioned in this list. See Section 3.0 Arrays and short arrays for information on short-arrays and also on maximum array sizes.

Allegro CL allows most types of arrays to be allocated in static space (where they are never moved or even looked at by the garbage collector). See Section 6.10 cl:make-array for information on creating such arrays. Only (as noted) arrays of type t cannot be allocated in static space (because such arrays usually contain pointers to other Lisp objects whicxh must be looked at and updated by the garbage collector when the objects pointed to are relocated).

  (array t)  ;; cannot have :allocation :static, 
             ;; :malloc, or :static-reclaimable as noted above
  (array bit)
  (array (unsigned-byte 4))
  (array (unsigned-byte 8))
  (array (unsigned-byte 16))
  (array (unsigned-byte 32))
  (array (unsigned-byte 64)) [64-bit Lisps only]
  (array character)
  (array single-float)
  (array double-float)
  (array fixnum)
  (array (complex single-float))
  (array (complex double-float))
  (array (signed-byte 8))
  (array (signed-byte 16))
  (array (signed-byte 32))
  (array (signed-byte 64)) [64-bit Lisps only]
  (array nil) 
  (simple-array t (* ...))
  (simple-array bit (* ...))
  (simple-array (unsigned-byte 4) (* ...))
  (simple-array (unsigned-byte 8) (* ...))
  (simple-array (unsigned-byte 16) (* ...))
  (simple-array (unsigned-byte 32) (* ...))
  (simple-array (unsigned-byte 64) (* ...)) [64-bit Lisps only]
  (simple-array character (* ...))
  (simple-array single-float (* ...))
  (simple-array double-float (* ...))
  (simple-array fixnum (* ...))
  (simple-array (signed-byte 8) (* ...))
  (simple-array (signed-byte 16) (* ...))
  (simple-array (signed-byte 32) (* ...))
  (simple-array (signed-byte 64) (* ...)) [64-bit Lisps only]
  (simple-array nil (* ...))

Now let us look at some examples. When we specify (unsigned-byte 3) as the value of element-type, we get an array of type (unsigned-byte 4):

cl-user(2): (setq fn-arr 
                  (make-array 5 :element-type '(unsigned-byte 3) 
                                :initial-element 0))
#(0 0 0 0 0)
cl-user(3): (array-element-type fn-arr)
(unsigned-byte 4)
cl-user(4): (upgraded-array-element-type '(unsigned-byte 3))
(unsigned-byte 4)

Note that upgraded-array-element-type applied to (unsigned-byte 3) returns (unsigned-byte 4). Note too that we have specified 0 as the value of the initial-value. If we had not, the initial value would be nil, which is not of type (unsigned-byte 4).

Here is what is returned by upgraded-array-element-type for some other common types:

cl-user(7): (upgraded-array-element-type 'single-float)
cl-user(8): (upgraded-array-element-type 'double-float)
cl-user(9): (upgraded-array-element-type 'float)
cl-user(10): (upgraded-array-element-type 'integer)
cl-user(11): (upgraded-array-element-type 'character)
cl-user(12): (upgraded-array-element-type '(signed-byte 6))
(signed-byte 8)
cl-user(13): (upgraded-array-element-type '(unsigned-byte 100))

Note that specifying float and integer both result in arrays of type t, not in specialized arrays. Specifying signed or unsigned bytes of particular sizes results in that size or bigger, or possibly t.

It is good programming practice to use upgraded-array-element-type to determine exactly what sort of array you will get.

Stack allocating vectors

Certain types of vectors can be stack allocated, thus saving space in applications. See Stack consing, avoiding consing using apply, and stack allocation in compiling.htm for details.

3.0 Arrays and short arrays

Arrays are stored internally as vectors. The underlying vector associated with an array is accessible with the macro excl:with-underlying-simple-vector.

Release 7.0 contains a new array implementation with larger array size limits: now most-positive-fixnum. In earlier releases, the limit in 32-bit Lisps was (expt 2 24), a value 32 times smaller. In 64-bit images, the limit was (expt 2 56), 16 times smaller than the new most-positive-fixnum limit.

Because the structure of arrays had to change in order to implement this change, and because there exists the possibility that users have done some coding which assumes a particular arrangement for arrays (such as is the case for the lisp.h file for compiling C code to recognize lisp structure), we have retained the older array types with their smaller limits, and have renamed them to be short arrays.

The make-array function now accepts the additional :short keyword argument. :short defaults to nil and when nil, a (long) array is produced, and when specified true, a short array (that used in earlier releases) is produced, with these exceptions:

The next section discusses these and other anomalies.

The new functions short-vector and short-string create short vectors and short strings, analogously to the standard functions vector and string.

3.1 Array short-ness

Most of the array set is symmetrical with respect to short-ness; i.e. a call to make-array for most element types will either produce a simple-array or short-simple-array of the specified element-type, based on the :short argument, (and, for specifications which normally create non-simple arrays, these results will be either arrays or short-arrays of the specified element-type) with the following exceptions:

  1. The fixnum element-type has been added to (long) arrays only, if specified as short array, the element-type is upgraded to (unsigned-byte 32) in 32-bit images and (unsigned-byte 64) in 64-bit images. For example:
    CL-USER(1): (featurep :64bit)
    CL-USER(2): (type-of (make-array 10 :element-type 'fixnum))
    CL-USER(3): (type-of (make-array 10 :element-type 'fixnum :short t))
    ;; and
    CL-USER(9): (featurep :64bit)
    CL-USER(10): (type-of (make-array 10 :element-type 'fixnum))
    CL-USER(11): (type-of (make-array 10 :element-type 'fixnum :short t))
  2. An element-type specification of nil always results in a (long) array:
    CL-USER(4): (type-of (make-array 0 :element-type nil))
    CL-USER(5): (type-of (make-array 0 :element-type nil :short t))
  3. An element-type of excl::foreign always results in a short array:
    CL-USER(6): (type-of (make-array 5 :element-type 'excl::foreign))
    CL-USER(7): (type-of (make-array 5 :element-type 'excl::foreign :short t))

In all other cases, the "short-ness" of arrays depends only on the :short argument to make-array:

CL-USER(8): (type-of (make-array 5 :element-type 'double-float))
CL-USER(9): (type-of (make-array 5 :element-type 'double-float :short nil))
CL-USER(10): (type-of (make-array 5 :element-type 'double-float :short t))

3.2 Relationship of arrays to array-like structures

At a low level, and below the level most programmers will ever need to know, some other CL objects retain the same basic structure (and thus the allocation limitations) as short arrays, though these can certainly be reviewed and addressed as necessary in the future.

They are:

These objects should never be arguments to svref, even if they had been punned on simple-vectors in unsafe code (`punned' means declared to be simple-vectors even when they are not). If such punning is still needed for these objects, use ssvref.

3.3 Short-arrays in the type hierarchy

Short-arrays are not Common Lisp standard types. Some of the relationships between short-arrays and normal (long) arrays are intuitive, but some are not. For example, a short-vector of element-type character is arrayp, and is short-array-p, but is not stringp, though it is short-string-p (this is because only (array character (*)) is stringp. And a short-simple-vector (i.e. of (short-simple-array t (*)) type) is short-simple-vector-p, but is not simple-vector-p, because only (simple-array t (*)) is a simple-vector.

Most other relationships between short array types are consistent and type-of, typep, and subtypep know about them.

The list of short array types, classes, and utility functions follows. The symbols naming them are the standard Common Lisp symbol names with short- prepended. All are in the excl package.

All short array types are subtypes of array, but not subtypes of any other Common Lisp array type. Their type hierarchy is the same as the corresponding Common Lisp array type hierarchy.

The various predicates also correspond to their standard Common Lisp counterparts. arrayp and (where appropriate) vectorp return true when applied to short arrays, but no other Common Lisp array predicate returns true when applied to a short array.

There are the following two types. Each is defined by a deftype form, the source is shown.

aref and other accessors

aref and its setf works on short arrays and normal arrays. But the specialized accessors sbit, schar, and svref and their setf's only work on normal arrays (it is an error to pass a short array to them). The following three specialized short array accessors work, in the same way as their Common Lisp counterparts, on short arrays.

In optimized code, care must be taken to match the kind of array with its accessor; svref will open-code to a single instruction access that assumes a normal (long) vector of type t. If the vector is instead a short vector, the access might be to a nonexistent slot beyond the allocation of the short-simple-vector. In the other direction, ssvref will open-code to a single instruction access that assumes a short array. An inverse-ssvref of the zeroth "slot" of a normal (long) array will overwrite the length word, and will result in eventual GC corruption.

An aref in optimized code will generate the correct code if the declaration is missing or matches the kind of array that will actually be accessed. If it is unknown whether the array being accessed will be short or normal (long), then a declaration of dual-simple-array or dual-simple-vector will generate the right code (but code which is still much faster than an out-of-line call to aref or its inverse).

It is strongly recommended, in the face of all of these dangers, that use of short-arrays is kept at a minimum. The space-savings of short-arrays over normal arrays is on average one word per array (depending on the parity of the size; odd-sized short-arrays will save 2 words, and even-sized short-arrays will not save any memory) so the desirability of short arrays is very small when compared to the risks.

3.3.1 String comparisons with short strings

Because short strings are not true strings (i.e. are not stringp), short strings are not permitted as arguments to string comparison functions such as string= and string-lessp. An error will be signaled if you pass a short string as an argument to a string comparison function.

If you need to compare short strings with each other or with regular strings, you can use equalp for equality tests. You must write your own functions for greater than or less than tests, such as the following:

(defun my-string-lessp (s1 s2)
  (let ((l1 (length s1)) (l2 (length s2)) minl)
    (setq minl (min l1 l2))
    (dotimes (i minl)
      (if (char-lessp (aref s1 i) (aref s2 i)) 
        (return-from my-string-lessp i)))
    (cond ((>= l1 l2) (return-from my-string-lessp nil))
          (t (return-from my-string-lessp l1)))))

4.0 Characters

X3J13, the ANSI subcommittee chartered to propose a specification for the forthcoming ANSI Common Lisp, has voted to make several changes to Common Lisp's treatment of characters. The intent of these changes is to clean up ideas that are felt not to have worked out in pre-ANSI Common Lisp as well as to allow for Common Lisp to be extensible to international languages. Unfortunately, some of these changes affect backward compatibility and storage efficiency. The result is that Franz Inc. has had to make some user-visible changes that may affect code which explicitly makes arrays or vectors of type character.

X3J13 has removed discussion of bit and font attributes of characters from the Common Lisp language. The string-char type specifier has also been removed from the language by X3J13. Finally, strings are now equivalent to (vector character) for creation purposes. X3J13 allows characters to be attributed with bit/font features as described in CLtL, but in an implementation-dependent way.

ANSI compatible Allegro CL continues to support font/bit attributes of characters. For example, the reader and printer acts on such characters in the pre-ANSI CL way (e.g., #\control-a is #\a with the control bit set, #3\meta-b is #\b with font 3 and the meta bit set). What's more, functions operating on bits and fonts from pre-ANSI CL (e.g., string-char-p, char-bits, char-font, make-char) are available in the cltl1 package, though the use of that package is deprecated.

Because Franz Inc. wants to achieve as much backward compatibility as possible with code using pre-ANSI font/bit attributed characters, and because Franz Inc. also wants to represent strings at least as efficiently as they have been in pre-ANSI versions of Allegro CL, difficulties arise in representing attributed characters in strings (which are now vectors of characters instead of vectors of string-chars). What ANSI-compatible Allegro CL does is to specify that it is an error to store attributed characters in a string. What in fact happens if one tries to do so is that the attributes are stripped. Thus an attributed character that has been stored in an array and extracted is no longer attributed and no longer EQL to its previous value.

Although this behavior violates the spirit of how elements are stored in arrays, this behavior was chosen by Franz Inc. because (a) pre-ANSI CL code using fonts/bits will not have been storing attributed characters into strings since it has always been an error to do so, and (b) representing strings as arrays that can hold attributed characters would have made strings less efficient and incompatible with existing foreign function code that uses strings.

In other words, portable ANSI CL code should not notice this compromise and pre-ANSI CL code should mostly be able to run as before with very little source change. The one area where portable pre-ANSI CL may run into problems is in places where the character type specifier is explicitly specified in calls to make-array, or to sequence functions that create a vector. (Such sequence functions include coerce, map, concatenate, etc.) These places in pre-ANSI CL where the character type specifier is used should most likely be changed to specify the t type specifier. In pre-ANSI versions of Allegro CL (array character) was equivalent to (array t).

5.0 Autoloading

Allegro CL has the ability to autoload certain files and modules. In order to keep the size of the system down by excluding parts not always needed, some of Allegro CL is not included in the system when it is built. These parts must be loaded in when they are required. This section describes how that code is loaded in.

Autoloads are triggered by referencing certain objects associated with an unloaded module. Typically, calling a function triggers an autoload, but autoloads can also be triggered by referencing a package or a class associated with an unloaded module. Note that only certain objects associated with a module trigger autoloads. If you reference unloaded functionality that does not trigger an autoload, the functionality may seem to be undefined.

An autoload is an automated form of load. When an autoload occurs, a message is printed unless *load-verbose* is nil, in which case the autoload is done silently. The autoload message is sent to the stream specified by the variable *system-messages*.

5.1 Where the autoloaded files are located

All the fasl files which have the potential to be autoloaded are part of the Allegro CL library. All the files are collected into a single file called the bundle file. Its filename is files and its type depends on the version of Allegro CL, but is always some variant of [letter]bu, for example files.bu and files.ebu. The bundle file is located in the Allegro directory. It contains a set of fasl files which can be loaded individually (the whole file is not loaded when a part is). The function bundle-pathname returns the pathname of the bundle file.

5.2 Common Lisp symbols

Code for some Common Lisp functions and macros (notably trace, inspect, and step) are contained in modules separate from the default binary. (The modules are called :trace, :inspect, and :step.) Whenever any Common Lisp function or macro is called, the necessary module will be loaded automatically. Note that using auxiliary features provided as extensions (such as referring to the variable *trace-print-length*) will not cause the module to be loaded. Even though the modules can be automatically loaded, we recommend explicitly loading those that you need with a call to require, as described below.

5.3 Major extensions

The code for major extensions, such as the foreign function interface or multiprocessing, also is loaded when needed instead of being in the default Lisp binary. Again, calls to some functions will cause the correct module to be loaded, but we recommend loading the module before using the facility, using require, as described next.

5.4 How to load modules

While most modules will be loaded automatically when an important function or macro defined in the module is called, you have to load modules explicitly to use some of the less central functionality. Some users also prefer to explicitly load modules in order to save waiting when the module is actually needed.

To load a module with require, simply enter the form:

(require :module-name)

It is useful to put this form at the beginning of any source file containing code which uses symbols in the module. It is not an error to call require when the module is already loaded.

6.0 Miscellaneous implementation details

This section describes implementation details and extensions to Common Lisp operators.

An extension is additional functionality beyond what is specified in the ANSI spec. The section Section 6.1 Extensions to cl:make-package, cl:intern, cl:disassemble, cl:truename, cl:probe-file, cl:open, cl:apropos, etc. describes extensions to a number of SL functions. Usually, these extensions use an additional (non-standard) argument. Portable programs should conditionalize any use of that argument so that it is only used when run in Allegro CL.

An implementation detail either clarifies some part of the spec that is intentionally or unintentionally under specified. The spec usually says that details are left to the implementation when it intentionally under specifies. Unintentional under specification is more subtle: the spec simply says nothing about what should be done in a particular situation. (So for example, should a defpackage call which defines an existing package completely redefine the package according to the new description or should it add features to the package without removing existing features -- see Section 6.12 cl:defpackage and cl:in-package for details on this issue.) A number of subsections discuss such details of various Common Lisp operators (and some variables).

6.1 Extensions to cl:make-package, cl:intern, cl:disassemble, cl:truename, cl:probe-file, cl:open, cl:apropos, etc.

Certain standard Common Lisp functions have been extended in minor ways in Allegro CL. Elsewhere we describe changes to load: Using the load function in loading.htm for the general implementation, Load foreign code with cl:load in foreign-functions.htm (for loading foreign code) and sleep (in Process functions and variables (both models) in multiprocessing.htm, making it work on a per-process basis). Those functions were extended to do something essentially new (load to load foreign functions and fasl files in libfasl mode, sleep to work on single processes). The extensions mentioned in this section refer to changes in the semantics of some Common Lisp functions which affect the way they are ordinarily used. The sort of changes done include allowing strings denoting objects as input as well as the object itself. In some cases we have added boolean variables which control the extended behavior, allowing you to decide exactly how you want Lisp to work.

The following Common Lisp operators are dicussed in subsections of this section:

6.1.1 Extensions to cl:make-package



Package: common-lisp

Arguments: package-name &key use implementation-packages (internal-symbols 10) (external-symbols 10)

We have added some additional keyword arguments to make-package. The implementation-packages keyword argument is an Allegro CL extension described fully in packages.htm. Its value should be a list. Otherwise, this function works as specified in the ANSI specification. The default for the use argument is implementation-dependent. The default in Allegro CL is a list containing one element, the common-lisp package.

The values of the internal-symbols and external-symbols keyword arguments should be positive integers. As implemented, package objects have slots for two hashtables, one for internal symbols and one for external symbols. The internal-symbols and external-symbols arguments guide how large these hashtables should initially be.

6.1.2 Extensions to cl:intern



Package: common-lisp

Arguments: string &optional packages

Allegro CL may allow a symbol as the first (string) argument to intern. Standard Common Lisp requires that the first argument be a string, but specifies no consequences if it is not. Allegro CL controls the behavior with the variable *intern-allows-symbol*, which, if true, causes intern to also accept a symbol as its first argument. If *intern-allows-symbol* is nil, passing a symbol as the first argument signals an error.

6.1.3 Extensions to cl:disassemble



Package: common-lisp

Arguments: name-or-compiled-function &key absolute references-only recurse start end

The standard disassemble does not have any keyword arguments. The keyword arguments are extensions which are likely not supported in implementations of Common Lisp other than Allegro CL.

In standard CL, name-or-compiled-function should be a function-object, a lambda expression, or a symbol with a function definition. Allegro CL also accepts function names which are lists as well (see Section 9.0 Function specs (fspecs) for a discussion of function names which are lists).

name-or-compiled-function can also be a string. A string is interpreted as naming a foreign (C or Fortran) function. The string must match the name identified by applying nm (or similar system function) to the current symbol table. This is often the result of applying convert-to-lang to the routine name, but there are exceptions -- e.g. Lisp internal routines typically do not have a prepended underscore. name-or-compiled-function can also be a codevector. These are extensions to Common Lisp.

The :absolute keyword argument

If the value of the absolute keyword argument is nil (the default), then relative pc addresses are given, starting at 0. If the value of absolute is true, addresses are given as absolute addresses. Note that these addresses are consistent within a single disassembly, but any gc activity may have moved the code vector by the time the disassembly is done.

The :recurse keyword argument

The recurse keyword argument, if true, causes internal functions to be disassembled after the specified function. It defaults to t if the name-or-compiled-function represents a function and if references-only is nil, and neither start, or end is specified. Otherwise it defaults to nil.

The :references-only keyword argument

If the references-only keyword argument is specified true (its default value is nil) then no disassembly is printed. Instead, a list is returned of all references the function identified by the required argument makes (from either the function object or the global table) to any Lisp object. When references-only is non-nil, recurse defaults to nil.

The :start and :end keyword arguments

The start and end keyword arguments act in the spirit of the start and end keyword argument to sequence functions, but the output of disassemble is not a sequence so the arguments differ from those. Both values, if specified, should be non-negative integers indicating the pc-offset where printing of disassembled code should start and stop. The absolute argument is ignored: start and end work with respect to a start of 0 regardless of what the absolute address is. When start or end or both are specified, recurse defaults to nil.


Here is an example:

cl-user(1): (defun foo (x y)
              (+ (sqrt (* 2 y)) (log x)))
cl-user(2): (compile 'foo)
cl-user(3): (disassemble 'foo)
;; disassembly of #<Function foo>
;; formals: x y
;; constant vector:
0: sqrt
1: log

;; code start: #x40e922c4:
   0: 55          pushl	ebp
   1: 8b ec       movl	ebp,esp
   3: 83 ec 30    subl	esp,$48
   6: 89 75 fc    movl	[ebp-4],esi
   9: 89 5d e4    movl	[ebp-28],ebx
  12: 39 a3 be 00 cmpl	[ebx+190],esp   ; "thread: stacklim"
      00 00 
  18: 76 02       jbe	22
  20: cd 65       int	$101            ; sys::trap-stack-ovfl
  22: 83 f9 02    cmpl	ecx,$2
  25: 74 02       jz	29
  27: cd 61       int	$97             ; sys::trap-argerr
  29: 89 45 dc    movl	[ebp-36],eax    ; x
  32: 80 7f cb 00 cmpb	[edi-53],$0     ; sys::c_interrupt-pending
  36: 74 02       jz	40
  38: cd 64       int	$100            ; sys::trap-signal-hit
  40: 8b 9f af fd movl	ebx,[edi-593]   ; excl::*_2op
      ff ff 
  46: b8 08 00 00 movl	eax,$8          ; 2
  51: ff 57 27    call	*[edi+39]       ; sys::tramp-two
  54: 8b 5e 12    movl	ebx,[esi+18]    ; sqrt
  57: b1 01       movb	cl,$1
  59: ff d7       call	*edi
  61: 89 45 d8    movl	[ebp-40],eax    ; excl::local-1
  64: 8b 45 dc    movl	eax,[ebp-36]    ; x
  67: 8b 5e 16    movl	ebx,[esi+22]    ; log
  70: b1 01       movb	cl,$1
  72: ff d7       call	*edi
  74: 8b d8       movl	ebx,eax
  76: 0b 5d d8    orl	ebx,[ebp-40]    ; excl::local-1
  79: f6 c3 03    testb	bl,$3
  82: 75 0f       jnz	99
  84: 8b d8       movl	ebx,eax
  86: 03 5d d8    addl	ebx,[ebp-40]    ; excl::local-1
  89: 70 08       jo	99
  91: 8b c3       movl	eax,ebx
  93: f8          clc
  94: c9          leave
  95: 8b 75 fc    movl	esi,[ebp-4]
  98: c3          ret
  99: 8b d0       movl	edx,eax
 101: 8b 45 d8    movl	eax,[ebp-40]    ; excl::local-1
 104: 8b 5f 8f    movl	ebx,[edi-113]   ; excl::+_2op
 107: ff 57 27    call	*[edi+39]       ; sys::tramp-two
 110: eb ee       jmp	94

;; Note the start is pc-offset = 3 even though 5 was specified
;; since that instruction includes location 5:

cl-user(4): (disassemble 'foo :start 5 :end 34)
;; disassembly of #<Function foo>
;; formals: x y
;; constant vector:
0: sqrt
1: log

;; code start: #x40ed6464:
   3: 83 ec 30    subl	esp,$48
   6: 89 75 fc    movl	[ebp-4],esi
   9: 89 5d e4    movl	[ebp-28],ebx
  12: 39 a3 be 00 cmpl	[ebx+190],esp   ; "thread: stacklim"
      00 00 
  18: 76 02       jbe	22
  20: cd 65       int	$101            ; sys::trap-stack-ovfl
  22: 83 f9 02    cmpl	ecx,$2
  25: 74 02       jz	29
  27: cd 61       int	$97             ; sys::trap-argerr
  29: 89 45 dc    movl	[ebp-36],eax    ; x
  32: 80 7f cb 00 cmpb	[edi-53],$0     ; sys::c_interrupt-pending

;; When :absolute is true, start and end still use offsets with
;; respect to 0:

cl-user(5): (disassemble 'foo :start 5 :end 34 :absolute t)
;; disassembly of #<Function foo>
;; formals: x y
;; constant vector:
0: sqrt
1: log
40ed6467: 83 ec 30 subl	esp,$48
40ed646a: 89 75 fc movl	[ebp-4],esi
40ed646d: 89 5d e4 movl	[ebp-28],ebx
40ed6470: 39 a3 be 00 cmpl	[ebx+190],esp   ; "thread: stacklim"
          00 00 
40ed6476: 76 02   jbe	0x40ed647a
40ed6478: cd 65   int	$101            ; sys::trap-stack-ovfl
40ed647a: 83 f9 02 cmpl	ecx,$2
40ed647d: 74 02   jz	0x40ed6481
40ed647f: cd 61   int	$97             ; sys::trap-argerr
40ed6481: 89 45 dc movl	[ebp-36],eax    ; x
40ed6484: 80 7f cb 00 cmpb	[edi-53],$0     ; sys::c_interrupt-pending

There are other keyword arguments to disassemble but they are not for programmer use.

6.1.4 Extensions to cl:truename



Package: common-lisp

Arguments: pathname &key (follow-symlinks t)

As specified by section of the ANS, truename must follow symbolic links. Allegro CL adds the follow-symlinks keyword argument to control this behavior. truename follows symbolic links if the follow-symlinks keyword arguments is true (the default). It returns the symbolic link pathname if follow-symlinks is specified nil.

Note that when pathname evaluates to a pathname that references a symbolic link, (delete-file (truename pathname)) will delete the actual file while (delete-file (truename pathname :follow-symlinks nil)) will delete the symbolic link.

6.1.5 Extensions to cl:probe-file



Package: common-lisp

Arguments: filespec &key (follow-symlinks t)

probe-file checks to see whether the file named by filespec exists and returns its truename if it does. The value of the follow-symlinks keyword argument is passed as the value of that argument to truename in order to get the pathname to return. If filespec evaluates to a pathname that references a symbolic link, the symbolic link is returned if follow-symlinks is nil, the canonical name of the file if follow-symlinks is true, the default. See the description of the Allegro CL implementation of truename just above.

6.1.6 Extensions to cl:open



Package: common-lisp

Arguments: file &key direction element-type if-exists if-does-not-exist class follow-symlinks external-format &allow-other-keys

The specification of this Common Lisp function allows a great deal of latitude to the implementation since interfacing with file systems is hard to specify generally. Here we discuss the if-exists, class, and (briefly) the if-does-not-exist keyword arguments. For a discussion of the external-format keyword argument, see Streams in iacl.htm.

The if-exists argument is looked at only if the direction argument is specified as :io or :output. In that case the following values are allowed for if-exists and have the effect described.

The if-does-not-exist keyword argument also accepts the value :always-append when a file is opened for output. This value causes the file to be created and opened using O_APPEND. See the description of the :always-append value for if-exists described just above for details of the effect of specifying :always-append.

The class keyword argument

The open function has been further extended to take a class keyword argument. open passes this argument to make-instance when it creates the stream, and as with make-instance, the argument may be a stream class object or a symbol naming such a class. If the class argument is not supplied or is nil, open selects one of the following built-in classes according to the direction and element-type arguments:


These classes all contain file-stream and are variously mixed with


Although the file-stream subclasses returned by open are all instantiable, at present they require hidden initialization (for element-type upgrading, buffer allocation, etc.) and therefore they should only be created using open. It is fine to further specialize them, but you are required to create instances of your specializations of these stream classes using the :class keyword argument to open rather than by calling make-instance yourself.

Missspelled keyword arguments

open is also modified with &allow-other-keys and &rest to pass all keyword arguments as initialization arguments to make-instance. This has the unfortunate side effect of removing error checking for misspelled keyword arguments.

See streams.htm, particularly the discussion of using open to create streams in Implementation of Common Lisp Functions for simple-streams.

The follow-symlinks keyword argument

When called with :direction :probe, open essentially works like probe-file and checks to see whether the file named by file exists and returns its truename if it does. The value of the follow-symlinks keyword argument, which is ignored unless direction is :probe, is passed as the value of that argument to truename in order to get the pathname to return. If file evaluates to a pathname that references a symbolic link, the symbolic link is returned if follow-symlinks is nil, the canonical name of the file if follow-symlinks is true, the default. See the description of the Allegro CL implementation of truename just above.

6.1.7 Extensions to cl:apropos



Package: common-lisp

Arguments: string &optional package external-only (case-insensitive t)

apropos in Allegro CL accepts two optional arguments in addition to the single standard optional argument. The second optional argument is external-only. If a package designator is specified as the value of the first (standard) optional argument, only symbols external in that package will be considered as candidates for output. If package is specified nil (some value must be given if external-only is to be specified), the external-only is ignored. external-only defaults to nil.

CL-USER(1): (apropos :defun nil t)
DEFUN               [macro] (name varlist &rest body)
COMP::PA-DEFUN-PROTO-1 [function] (xform)
COMP::QC-DEFUN-IN-RUNTIME [function] (node target cc)
COMP::COMPILE-P-DEFUN [function] (form)
EXCL::DEFUN-LIKE    [function] (xp list &rest args)
EXCL::RECORD-SOURCE-FILE-DEFUN [function] (fspec &optional icsp)
DEFUN-PROTO         [macro] (name varlist &rest body)
FF::DEFUN-FOREIGN-CALLABLE-1 [function] (name arglist body)
FF:DEFUN-FOREIGN-CALLABLE [macro] (name arglist &rest body)
FF:DEFUN-C-CALLABLE [macro] (&whole form &rest args)
:DEFUN              value: :defun
CL-USER(2): (apropos :defun (find-package :excl) t)
DEFUN-PROTO         [macro] (name varlist &rest body)
CL-USER(3): (apropos :defun (find-package :excl) nil)
EXCL::DEFUN-LIKE    [function] (xp list &rest args)
EXCL::RECORD-SOURCE-FILE-DEFUN [function] (fspec &optional icsp)
DEFUN-PROTO         [macro] (name varlist &rest body)

The third optional argument is case-insensitive. If true (which is the default), comparisons between string and symbol names are done in a case-insensitive fashion. Thus, in an ANSI (case-insensitive, symbols are named with uppercase strings) image,

(apropos "car" (find-package :common-lisp) nil nil)
  PRINTS nothing (as no symbols in the CL package have "car" in
         their names)
(apropos "car" (find-package :common-lisp))


And in a modern image (case-senstive, symbols are named with lowercase strings),

(apropos "CaR" (find-package :common-lisp) nil nil)
  PRINTS nothing (as no symbols in the CL package have "CaR" in
         their names)
(apropos "CaR" (find-package :common-lisp))


apropos binds *print-nickname* to true

When printing output, apropos binds *print-nickname* to true, so package nicknames are always used when they exist. For example, the first nickname of the foreign-functions package is "ff", and we have:

cg-user(5): *print-nickname*
cg-user(6): (format t "~S~%" 'ff:def-foreign-call)
cg-user(7): (apropos :def-foreign-call)
ff:def-foreign-call [macro] (ff::name-and-options ff::args &key ff::call-direct ...)
:def-foreign-call   value: :def-foreign-call



Package: common-lisp

Arguments: string &optional package external-only case-insensitive

Like apropos, as described just above, apropos-list accepts two additional optional arguments, external-only and case-insensitive. If external-only is true and a package designator is specified for the standard optional argument package, only external symbols in that package are included in the result. If case-insensitive is true (the default is nil), comparisons between string and symbol names are done in a case-insensitive fashion.

6.1.8 Extensions to cl:interactive-stream-p



Package: common-lisp

Arguments: stream

The Common Lisp function interactive-stream-p returns true if its argument is an interactive stream, which is a stream "on which it makes sense to perform interactive querying". Allegro CL extends this function so that it is setf'able.

When (setf (interactive-stream-p stream) t) is evaluated, not only does (interactive-stream-p stream) return true, but also any writing that is done is encapsulated into blocks of output that are forced out by a call to force-output at the end of the call. This makes the stream seem like it is unbuffered, yet without sacrificing as much performance as a raw unbuffered stream would require, since the actual output takes place only at the end of each group of write operations.

6.2 A comment about with-open-file and timing hazards

with-open-file tries to guarantee that the file stream opened for the evaluation of its body is closed, thus avoiding open but unused files. (Such open files can cause an error if the number, set by the operating system, of allowable open files is reached.)

But note that there is a hazard between the time Lisp calls out to the operating system to open a file and the time Lisp sets the stream variable to the newly opened file stream. Between those events, an interruption that causes a non-local exit may leave the file open, but Lisp, lacking any handle on the newly opened stream object, cannot in fact close it.

The risk is small, but can be exacerbated by the following:

6.3 cl:time implementation

Allegro CL implements the time macro so that code in the body is compiled if necessary (and the compiler is present). The macro prints timing information and then the return valkue of the body:

cl-user(2): (defun foo (n)
	      (let ((lis nil))
		(dotimes (i 100000)
		  (push (* n i) lis))
cl-user(3): (compile 'foo)
;; This example run on an SMP Lisp so includes a 'cpu time (thread)'
;; line. That line will not appear in non-SMP Lisps.
cl-user(4): (time (foo 120034))
; cpu time (non-gc) 0.003999 sec user, 0.001000 sec system
; cpu time (gc)     0.032995 sec user, 0.001000 sec system
; cpu time (total)  0.036994 sec user, 0.002000 sec system
; cpu time (thread) 0.003999 sec user, 0.000000 sec system  ;; SMP Lisps only
; real time  0.038979 sec (100.0%)
; space allocation:
;  99,580 cons cells, 0 other bytes, 0 static bytes
; Page Faults: major: 0 (gc: 267), minor: 388 (gc: 267)
(12003279966 12003159932 12003039898 12002919864 12002799830 12002679796
 12002559762 12002439728 12002319694 12002199660 ...)

The information reported is:

6.4 cl:directory and cl:ensure-directories-exist

The directory function has some keyword arguments added to it to assist in recursive walks down a directory tree. (Note that even though the new argument is not specified, Common Lisp: the Language says the following about directory: `It is anticipated that an implementation may need to provide additional parameters to control the directory search. Therefore directory is specified to take additional keyword arguments so that implementations may experiment with extensions, even though no particular keywords are specified here.')



Package: common-lisp

Arguments: path &key (directories-are-files t) (follow-symbolic-links t)

Returns a list of pathnames matching path, which may be a pathname, string, symbol or stream. Returns nil if there is no match.

If the keyword argument directories-are-files is specified true (the default), this function will return directories as files (that is pathnames with name and/or type components true). If the argument is nil, directories are returned as directories (pathnames with name and type components nil). In the latter case it is possible to walk down a directory tree recursively using directory.

The elements of the list returned by directory is in the same order as returned by the associated system function (e.g. readir() on UNIX).

If directory is given wildcards, for example "*/*.cl", it will ignore files which are symbolic links that point to other directories. This prevents directory recursing into these symbolically named directories. For example, (directory "*/*.cl") will no longer, in the face of a `foo' symlink to a directory, would descend into `foo'. However, When follow-symbolic-links is non-nil (the default), directory recurses into directories pointed to by symlinks when the appropriate "**" (that is, :wild-inferiors) directory component is used. (This issue affects UNIX and UNIX like platforms only following symbolic links is not supported on the Windows implementation.)

Wildcard handling

directory uses pathname-match-p, which, when presented with wildcards in path (when path is a string), converts the pathname into Allegro CL regular expressions, according to the rules given next. (See regexp.htm for information on regular expression handling.)

Handling of non-directory components:

    . turned into \.
    * turned into .*
    ? turned into .
    ^ prepended onto beginning
    $ appended onto end

Handling of directory components:

    . turned into \.
    * turned into .[^/]* (or .[^\\]* on windows)
    ** matches any number of directory levels
    ? turned into .
    ^ prepended onto beginning
    $ appended onto end

The ensure-directories-exist function

The ensure-directories-exist function has two additional keyword arguments: verbose and mode. If verbose is specified true, it prints the fact that a directory is created when one is. The default value for the mode argument is #o777. The value should be a non-negative integer less that or equal to #o777. Any directory cerated with be created with that mode.

6.5 cl:loop and the for-as-in-sequence subclause for looping over sequences

The for-as-in-sequence subclause was added in a patch release in May, 2014.

The loop macro, cl:loop, is extended to support for-as-in-sequence subclauses, which is in addition to the standard for-as-in-list and for-as-across (for looping over vectors).

In the ANS Section Iteration Control, descriptions are provided for several iteration controls over object types which are suited for iteration. Two of these are elements of lists (The for-as-in-list subclause) and vectors (The for-as-across subclause). But there is no single iterator which will work on either lists or vectors.

Allegro CL has introduced a new for-as-in-sequence clause, which allows iteration over either lists or simple, general vectors. It allows for implementational switches from lists to such vectors and vice versa, and it does so with as little run-time expense as possible (the restriction to simple vectors allows much faster performance than would be possible if any type of vector was allowed). It combines common aspects of the for-as-in-list and for-as-across subclauses.

The template is simplified compared to templates for for-as-in-list and for-as-across and vectors appearing in the clause have certain restrictions:

Examples using for-as-in-sequence

(defun foo (x)
  (loop for y in-sequence x collect (1+ y)))
(foo '(1 2 3)) => (2 3 4)
(foo #(1 2 3)) => (2 3 4)

The for-as-in-sequence only iterates over the top level of a list or vector. Elements of the list or vector which are themselves lists of vectors are treated as simple data, but destructuring works in the for-as-in-sequence subclause but only for elements which are lists:

CL-USER(2): (loop for (x y) in-sequence '((1 2) (3 4)) collect (list x y))
((1 2) (3 4))
CL-USER(3: (loop for (x y) in-sequence #((1 2) (3 4)) collect (list x y))
((1 2) (3 4))

;; But this does not work 

CL-USER(4): (loop for (x y) in-sequence '(#(1 2) #(3 4)) collect (list x y))
Error: Attempt to take the car of #(1 2) which is not listp.
  [condition type: TYPE-ERROR]

6.6 cl:delete, cl:delete-if, cl:delete-if-not, cl:delete-duplicates: multiprocessing issues

The functions delete, delete-if, delete-if-not, and delete-duplicates have traditionally tried to shorten simple-vectors in-place, so that copies need not be made when items are deleted from these vectors. But to truly be SMP-safe these functions must act more like their remove* counterparts, due to the difficulty in synchonizing the use of the original object efficiently. However, this means that legacy code which assumed that the simple-vector was modified in-place might break.

Decisions can be made at various levels as to whether "in-place" modification will be done or whether copying will be done instead. This is controlled by the new variable *delete-in-place*, and also by a new in-place keyword argument to delete, delete-if, and delete-if-not. (That argument is not portable and so should be conditionalized in portable code.) delete-duplicates always follows the mandate of *delete-in-place* and has no new argument.

Defaults have been set so that non-SMP Lisps will still perform the in-place modification, and SMP Lisps will do the copying. Programmers should only specify in-place deleting on SMP if they can guarantee that the vector is not being (and can not be) traversed simultaneously on multiple threads. The problem can (for example) arise when one thread changes the last elements of a vector without noticing another thread has shortened the vector. The change can then modify (illegally) the header of an entirely different Lisp object with the result that the Lisp heap becomes corrupted.

Deleting elements from lists

The new arguments to certain deletion functions and the new *delete-in-place* variable do not affect the behavior of these functions on list arguments. However, (and this has always been true in a multiprocessing Lisp) although failures are less likely when deleting elements from a list compared to deleting elements from a vector (it is easy, as noted in bold above, to modfy an illegal location when a vector is shortened, but not when deleting elements from a list), there are ways that deletion or modification in one thread and accessing in another can cause unspecified (and unexpected) behavior with lists.

Use the returned sequence, not the argument sequence

Correct code should use the return value of the delete functions.

Problem can happen in non-SMP Lisps as well

It is much less likely, but the same problem described in this section can occur in a non-SMP Lisp. Good coding practice says do not use in-place modification in any multiporcessing Lisp (SMP or not) where multiple threads can traverse the sequence.

6.7 Reader macros and cl:*features*

#+(version>= ...)/#-(version>= ... )

Reader Macro

We have extended the #+ and #- reader macros to accept (version>= N [ M]) as an argument. It is interpreted to mean that the form following will only be read if the version (also called release) of Allegro CL is greater than or equal to N.M. The N must be supplied. The M is optional. Both must be integers. With #+, version>= signifies read the next form only if the version is greater than or equal to N.M. With #-, it means read the next form only is the version is less than N.M. For example, because of an X3J13 change, the element type for an array of characters is character starting in release 4.1 and string-char in earlier releases. To have code work in all Allegro CL releases, do the following:

(make-array 3 
            :element-type #+(version>= 4 1) 'character
                          #-(version>= 4 1) 'string-char)

Warning: while most Common Lisp implementations (including Allegro CL prior to version 4.1) ignore `(version>=...)', it is possible that an implementation would signal an error upon encountering it. As a workaround for truly portable code, use:

#+(and allegro-version>= (version>=...))

Because :allegro-version>= is (presumably) only on the *features* list of Allegro CL 4.1 and later, this will fail in all versions without version>= having to have a definition.



Package: common-lisp

This standard Common Lisp variable can be used with the #+ and #- reader macros to conditionalize code for different Lisp implementations and releases. The exact value is different in every version of Allegro CL. Here are some useful values which may or may not be in your version. Please check the value of *features* in your version to see exactly what is there. The function featurep can be used to test whether a feature is present or not.

6.7.1 Features present or missing from *features* in Allegro CL

This is a partial list.


Meaning and use

:allegro Unique to Allegro CL. Present in all versions on all platforms. Use this to distinguish Allegro CL from other Lisp implementations.
:64bit Present in 64-bit images, absent in 32-bit images.
:ignore Absent in all versions on all platforms. Thus a form marked #+ignore is never evaluated. Used, for example, in
:x3j13 Purports to conform to some version of Common Lisp specified by the ANSI X3J13 committee. Present in Allegro CL since version 4.2.
:cltl2 Purports to conform to Common Lisp: the Language, 2nd ed. Since ANSI Lisp has diverged, :x3j13 and :cltl2 should not both be present. Not present in Allegro CL 4.2 or later. Present in some earlier versions.
:draft-ansi-cl-2 Purports to conform to the second draft ANSI standard. Allegro CL does so, so :draft-ansi-cl-2 is present in Allegro CL 7.0
:ansi-cl Purports to conform to ANSI Common Lisp standard. The standard is now (since early 1996) final. Present in Allegro CL starting with version 4.3.
:dynload Foreign loading is done by dynamic linking of shared libraries/objects. The next several features are types of dynamic loading. See foreign-functions.htm.
:dlfcn Uses dlopen() to link foreign code. Present, for example, on Solaris. See foreign-functions.htm.
:dlwin Uses LoadLibrary to link foreign code. Windows machines only. See foreign-functions.htm.
:dlmac Uses the Mac OS X system loader NSLoadModule to link foreign code. Mac OS X machines only. See foreign-functions.htm.
:dlld Loads .o files into image with ld. No Allegro CL version uses this.
:ics Supports International Character sets. Characters are 16-bits (rather than 8 bits). Allegro CL comes in both International and non-International versions (the International version is standard). Use this feature to distinguish the versions. See iacl.htm.
:os-threads When present, each Lisp thread executes on a distinct os thread within the os process. Stack-allocated data remains in place as long as it is in scope. Thread-specific foreign initializations may need to be done in each Lisp thread, depending on the requirements of the specific foreign library. Always present when :smp is present.

When absent (:smp will also be absent), all lisp threads share one os thread. The stack data for the currently executing Lisp thread occupies the real os stack; stack data for other lisp threads is saved in other areas of memory until the other thread is to be executed again. Stack-allocated data (whether foreign or Lisp) is only guaranteed to be at its allocated address when the allocating lisp thread is executing. Thread-specific foreign initializations probably need to be done just once for the whole os process.

See multiprocessing.htm and smp.htm.

:smp When present, the Lisp allows true simultaneous execution of multiple Lisp threads on multiple cpus. Even if the host os allocates a single cpu to the lisp process, different Lisp threads can interleave execution arbitrarily. Checks for signals, timeouts, and process-interrupts happen at safe-points.

When absent, the Lisp allows execution of multiple Lisp threads, but only one such thread at a time can be executing Lisp code. Interleaving of thread execution happens at safe-points, as do checks for signals, timeouts, and process-interrupts directed at that thread.

:smp-macros When present, macros associated with SMP are defined. Always present when :smp is present. Useful for conditionalizing code with the macros for versions prior to SMP implementation.
:mswindows Appears in versions running on Windows machines. Use #-mswindows for Unix.
:sparc This feature appears on versions that run on machines with a Sparc processor (e.g. Sun 4's and Sparcstations). A similar platform-naming feature appears in all implementations and allows differentiating between machines. Look for the feature in your version.
:big-endian Platform uses the big-endian method of representing numbers.
:little-endian The platform uses the little-endian method of representing numbers.
:verify-stack Checking how close the stack is to overflowing is expensive. See verify-stack-switch.
:allegro-vN.M Present in Allegro CL version N.M. (Examples :allegro-7.0, :allegro-8.0, :allegro-8.1, etc.) See also #+(version>=...) reader macro defined Section 6.7 Reader macros and cl:*features* above. Both it and this feature are useful for conditionalizing code to run on different releases of Allegro CL.

6.7.2 The issue of nested conditionals in Allegro CL

Assume :allegro is on the *features* list and that :foo is not. Consider the following two forms and their evaluations:

;; CASE 1
(list #+allegro :allegro #-allegro #+foo :foo #-foo :default)

  Versions of Allegro CL prior to 8.0 return (:allegro :default)
  Allegro CL 8.0 and many other implementations return (:allegro)

;; CASE 2
(list #+allegro :allegro #-allegro #+foo :foo)

  Versions of Allegro CL prior to 8.0 return (:allegro)
  Allegro CL 8.0 and many other implementation signal an error

We will explain these disparate behaviors below, but first we recommend that conditions be nested using not, or, and and within the #+ or #- test expressions (the expression which follows the #+ or #-) as that is always unambiguous in any Lisp. Thus the first conditional below implements the old Allegro CL behavior and the second implement the current behavior:

(list #+allegro :allegro #+(and (not allegro) foo) :foo #-foo :default)
(list #+allegro :allegro #+(and (not allegro) foo) :foo
                         #-(or allegro foo) :default)

Using nesting within the test expression for Case 2 should make clear what is desired when :allegro holds and :foo does not -- presumably:

(list #+allegro :allegro #+(and (not allegro) foo) :foo)

In older Allegro CL implementations, when a conditional fails (like #-allegro fails), a conditional in the associated form (the one that will be ignored) is not further considered. Thus that conditional and its associated form are taken to be the form to be ignored. So in the first example, #-allegro #+foo :foo is considered to be a (failing) conditional and its associated form. It is ignored and the reader then encounters #-foo :default. The #-foo conditional succeeds so the subsequent form -- :default -- is evaluated.

Other Lisp implementations resolve the conditionals following a conditional as part of determining what the form associated with a conditional is. Allegro CL has been changed to match that behavior. As a result, conditionals following a conditional (i.e. nested conditionals) are considered and resolved as part of determining the form that follows a conditional, the form that should be ignored (when the original conditional fails) or evaluated (when it succeeds). So in #-allegro #+foo :foo #-foo :default the inner conditionals #+foo :foo #-foo :default are resolved to :default. Thus #-allegro #+foo :foo #-foo :default resolves to #-allegro :default which is then ignored.

In the second example, #-allegro #+foo :foo resolves to #-allegro which signals an error because no form follows the #-allegro conditional, and that is erroneous code. (The conditional doing the nesting within the test expression, show above, does not error.)

We believe (although we do not present our analysis here) that the ANSI standard is ambiguous on the handling of these cases and so both the older Allegro CL behavior and the newer behavior are within standard. However, since the #+/#- conditonals are designed to allow for using the same code in various implementations of Common Lisp, we believe it is most important that all implementation do the same thing. Since other implementations of Common Lisp resolve inner conditionals to produce the form that outer conditionals apply to, Allegro CL has been changed (starting in release 8.0) to do that as well. Again, we recommend doing the nesting in the test expressions rather than nesting #+/#-'s.

The change in the handling of nested #+/#-'s is a non-backward-compatible change in Allegro CL 8.0, and a rather obscure one which may cause difficult to diagnose errors in user code which has heretofore worked correctly. To mitigate this, in Allegro CL 8.0 (and later), a warning is signaled when nested conditionals are detected. This warning remarks on the behavior change. The warning is suppressed when the variable *warn-on-nested-reader-conditionals* is set to nil (its initial value is t). Users who want to revert to the old behavior (not resolving inner conditionals before applying outer) can do so by setting the variable *sharp-plus-de-facto-standard-compatible* to nil (its initial value is also t). We do recommend that user change their code to conform to the new behavior where that is possible rather than reverting to the old behavior.

6.8 cl:random and cl:make-random-state

Allegro CL uses the Mersenne-Twister algorithm, MT179937. MT179937 is described in detail in the paper "Mersenne Twister: A 623-dimensionally equidistributed uniform pseudorandom number generator" by Makoto Matsumoto (Keio University/Max-Planck-Institut fuer Mathematik) and Takuji Nishimura (Keio University), which appeared in the issue 1/1998 of the ACM Transactions on Modeling and Computer Simulation.

The required argument to random must be a positive real (integer or float). In the Allegro CL implementation, there are internal functions that are called based on the type of the required argument. If the compiler trusts declarations (see trust-declarations-switch) and the type of the required argument is known at compile time (because its type is declared or it is a constant), the call to random will be transformed into a call to the appropiate internal function in most cases. If the type is not known at compile time or declarations are not trusted, random is called directly and dispatches to the correct internal function after determining the type of the required argument.

Initial values returned by random

Because random may be called by any Lisp function at any time, there can be no guarantee that the sequence of numbers seen by your calls to random will be the same each time you invoke Lisp even if your actions are seemingly identical. However, absent specific action on your part, often the values returned by random are the same from invocation to invocation. If either repeatability or ensuring different runs are different are important to you, you should manage random by specifying the optional random-state argument with random-state objects you have created and stored (see make-random-state). Printed versions of random-state objects are readable so values can be stored in text files.

random and multiple processes

When a new process is created, the value of *random-state* may be bound as part of the initial bindings for the process (see mp:make-process and mp:process-run-function). *random-state* is one of the variables included in the suggested list of bindings which is the value of *required-top-level-bindings*, but that list is used for processes you create only if you specify that it be used. The binding is to a copy of an existing random-state object. This means that if that list is used, different processes may start with copies of the same random-state object or with random-states that produce similar (i.e. slighly displaced) random number sequences. This may or may not be what is required for your application. As we suggest with managing random numbers in general, we suggest that if the nature of random sequences is important to your application, you manage the random sequences for processes that you create by creating your own random-state objects (with make-random-state) and using them in the processes you create.



Package: common-lisp

Arguments: number &optional state

Returns a pseudo-random number uniformly distributed between 0 and (- number 1) if number is an integer and between 0 (inclusive) and number (exclusive) if number is real but not an integer. number must be real and positive. state should be a random-state object. If supplied, it will be made the state while the returned value is calculated.



Package: common-lisp

Arguments: &optional state seed

This standard Common Lisp function returns a random-state object. If state is already a random-state, it is returned. If state is t (and seed is nil), make-random-state uses get-universal-time for its starting value. We have ensured that even in a tight loop, different states will be produced by each call in the loop.

The seed argument is provided as an extension to standard Common Lisp. If state is specified as t, and seed is given and is an integer, then instead of using its own internal method for generating a seed, that specified seed is accepted and used to create the new random-state. Two such calls to make-random-state with the same seed will produce equivalent random-states. Only the least significant 32 bits of the integer are used to seed the random state.

This capability allows the user to generate starting seeds from any random-number generation source. The question of how long that source requires to generate truly random data is the user's responsibility. (Thus /dev/random, if available, may block indefinitely waiting for the entropy pool to be replenished. /dev/urandom can also be used to generate random seeds, if it is available).

6.9 cl:make-hash-table



Package: common-lisp

Arguments: &key test size rehash-size rehash-threshold hash-function values weak-keys

Hash tables with standard tests (eq, eql, equal, and equalp) have been optimized in Allegro CL to make putting values into and getting values from a hash table fast. eq hashtables are the fastest, followed closely by eql, and then equal and equalp.

The size argument to make-hash-table

The maximum size of a hash table is one less than the value of array-dimension-limit. In safe code, if the value specified by the size is greater than or equal to array-dimension-limit, then array-dimension-limit minus 1 will be used instead and a warning will be signaled.

Extensions to make-hash-table

Allegro CL has also extended make-hash-table in several ways:

  1. to accept the (non-standard) hash-function keyword argument,
  2. to allow test functions other than the standard four,
  3. to allow for weak hashtables, and
  4. to allow for valueless hashtables.

The :hash-function keyword argument

The hash-function keyword argument allows further specialization when standard functionality is inefficient (usually because of excessive collisions caused by bunching of the hash codes of the data). Code that uses the hash-function argument is not portable Common Lisp, of course.

If specified, the value from hash-function must be a symbol naming a function of one argument in the global environment which reproducibly returns an integer in the correct range when applied to any Lisp object intended to be used as a hash key. (The value must be a symbol, not a function object.)

The correct range is between 0 and (1- (expt 2 24)) (inclusive) in 32-bit Lisps and between 0 and (1- (expt 2 32)) (inclusive) in 64-bit Lisps. Reproducibly here means the function will return the same value on equivalent objects whenever it is called. The consequences of returning a value outside the correct range are undefined (and so may result in an incorrect answer or cause an error or program failure).

hash-function defaults to sxhash except when test is one of the four standard tests (eq, eql, equal, equalp) when hash-function defaults to an internal function optimized for that test. (For equal and equalp, the hash-function is an internal version of sxhash.)

Note about hash-code generation:

A good hash-function will not only conform to the requrements of the hash-function argument, but will make efforts to distribute the hash-codes evenly across the objects which will be used as keys.

To aid in hash-code generation, an unexported function is provided which is otherwise undocumented: excl::hash-table-stats, which accepts as its only argument a hash-table, and which prints various statistics about that hash-table, including a histogram at the end of how hard it is to access each key (i.e. how far the key resides from its hash-code position). A long histogram is not good; the shortest histogram has only one entry at distance 0 (with all of the keys at that distance) which means that the current distribution of keys is perfect and the access is linear. A long histogram means that the hash code generation has poor distribution, likely either not as random as expected, or else bunched up close to zero.

The :test keyword argument

The value of test must be a symbol naming a function of two arguments in the global environment. This function will be passed two keys, and should return t if the keys are equivalent and nil if the keys are not equivalent. The standard values for test are eq, eql, equal, and equalp (or, for these four functions only, the associated function objects #'eq etc.) but any test function can be specified. (But note (1) that symbol is reserved for internal use so test should not be specified 'symbol in application or user code; and (2) the value must be a symbol naming a function, not a function object; the four standard function objects listed just above are accepted as values but no other function objects.) If hash-function is specified, it is the programmer's responsibility to ensure the test function and the hash function work together correctly and consistently.

The :weak-keys keyword argument

weak-keys defaults to nil, which specifies the default behavior. When weak-keys is specified as t, the keys of the resulting hash table are treated specially by the garbage-collector: when a key in such a hash table has no more references to it, the entire entry is removed from the hash table, and the hash-table-count is decremented. This entry removal will occur regardless of whether :values :weak is specified (which by itself will never affect the hash-table-count, but only the value of an entry). See gc.htm for information on weak objects.

If weak-keys is given the value :tenurable, then the key vector (the part of the weak-key hash-table that is normally kept in newspace) is allowed to be tenured. Any other true value for weak-keys causes the key vector to be forced to stay in newspace (but it is best to use t as this allows other non-nil values which have special meaning to be added later). The :tenurable option allows the amount of data copied between newspace halves to remain smaller than if the key vector were forced to remain in newspace. This difference can be large if the hash-table is large. Allegro CL now uses this option internally. If a tenurable weak-keys hash-table must be rehashed due to growth, the new key vector is allocated in newspace, but is still allowed to be tenured. (This means the vector is not created with :allocation :old described below.)

The downside of tenuring the weak-key vector is that references to the values will remain until a global garbage collection examines the weak-key vector. An untenured weak-key vector is examined whenever there is a scavenge. Global gc's are typically rare, but scavenges occur regularly. A decision to use the :tenurable option should take this into consideration.

The :values keyword argument

values can be t (the default), :weak, or nil.

:values t or :values unspecified

When values is t, the hash table will contain both a key and a value for each entry (that is, it will be a normal hash table). As said above, t is the default value for values.

:values :weak

When :values :weak is specified, then the hash table will hold a value only as long as it is referenced non-weakly by some other object. If no other objects reference the value, it becomes nil and a gethash on the key will return nil for the value (the value is collected by the gc).

:values :weak example

;;  We create a :values :weak hashtable:
cl-user(26): (setq ht (make-hash-table :values :weak))
#<eql hash-table with weak values, 0 entries @ #x48aef52>
;;  We create an object to store aa a value:
cl-user(27): (setq a (list 1 2 3))
(1 2 3)
;;  We store the list as the value of the key 100:
cl-user(28): (setf (gethash 100 ht) a)
(1 2 3)
;;  And the list is returned when we ask for it:
cl-user(29): (gethash 100 ht)
(1 2 3)
;;  We break the link from the symbol A to the list:
cl-user(30): (setq a nil)
;;  We break the links from variables like *, **, and *** to the list
;;  (this works here but be aware that links may exist that you are
;;  unaware of, and it make take longer for those links to disappear).
cl-user(31): t
cl-user(32): t
cl-user(33): t
cl-user(34): (gc)
cl-user(35): (gc)
;;  Now when we get the value associated with 100, it is NIL
cl-user(36): (gethash 100 ht)
;;  Note, second value is T as 100 still has a value.  But the
;;  value is now NIL, not the list which was the original value.

:values nil

When :values nil is specified, a sans values hash table is created, and only keys are stored. gethash returns the key as its first return if the key is in the table, and t as the second value in that case. As usual, gethash returns nil and nil if the key is not in the table. You can use setf and gethash to store a key. You must specify a value but that value is ignored. You can also use the function excl:puthash-key to store a key in the table.

On sans-value hash tables, maphash will call its argument function with the key as both arguments (as the key argument and as the value argument), as there is no value to pass.

One use of :values nil (sans-value) hash tables is to identify a set of objects, such as those objects which have a particular property, in a space efficient way. Suppose, for example, you have many instances (millions of them) of a particular class, and only 20 are XYZ-positive. You could have an xyz-positive instance slot in the class, but that could use megabytes of space. A sans-value hash table with the 20 objects as keys uses just a few hundred bytes. That table could be the value of a class slot of the class and a method that looked to the user like an ordinary reader could test whether an instance was in the hash table or not, while a writer could add an instance to the hash table.

Sans-value hash tables are also a good way to store conses. If you have a bunch of conses you will need many times, place each as you first create it as a key into a sans-value hash table with the appropriate test function (say equal). Then, if you need that cons, create one and test it using excl:puthash-key or gethash, and always using the return value (unless nil in the case of gethash) and discarding the test value. Only one permanent copy of the cons will then be stored no matter how may you create. (See the second example below.)

:values nil example

;; We create a sans-value hashtable:
cl-user(49): (setq svht (make-hash-table :values nil))
#<eql hash-table (sans values) with 0 entries @ #x4a94bb2>
;;  We store as keys all CL symboles with more than 3 e's in
;;  the symbol name. Note we use puthash-key to store the key.
;;  We do not need a value because being in the hashtable indicates
;;  the key has the desired property (more that 3 e's).
cl-user(50): (do-external-symbols (s (find-package :cl))
	       (if (> (count #\e (symbol-name s) :test 'char-equal) 3)
		   (puthash-key s svht)))
;;  There are 39 such symbols:  #x4a94bb2
cl-user(51): svht
#<eql hash-table (sans values) with 39 entries @ #x4a94bb2>
;;  We use MAPHASH to print out the 39 symbols. Note the value
;;  passed to the MAPHASH argument function is the key (that
;;  is, the key is passed as both the K and the V arguments).
;;  We have added line breaks for clarity in some cases
cl-user(52): (maphash #'(lambda (k v)
			  (format t "~S, value is ~S~%" k v))
integer-decode-float, value is integer-decode-float
  value is least-negative-normalized-single-float
set-difference, value is set-difference
  value is update-instance-for-different-class
  value is double-float-negative-epsilon
make-sequence, value is make-sequence
make-instances-obsolete, value is make-instances-obsolete
stream-element-type, value is stream-element-type
  value is least-negative-normalized-double-float
delete-package, value is delete-package
  value is least-negative-normalized-long-float
delete-file, value is delete-file
array-element-type, value is array-element-type
upgraded-array-element-type, value is upgraded-array-element-type
encode-universal-time, value is encode-universal-time
  value is least-negative-normalized-short-float
  value is internal-time-units-per-second
type-error-expected-type, value is type-error-expected-type
ensure-generic-function, value is ensure-generic-function
delete-duplicates, value is delete-duplicates
define-setf-expander, value is define-setf-expander
  value is least-negative-single-float
read-sequence, value is read-sequence
get-decoded-time, value is get-decoded-time
  value is concatenated-stream-streams
invoke-restart-interactively, value is invoke-restart-interactively
read-preserving-whitespace, value is read-preserving-whitespace
get-internal-real-time, value is get-internal-real-time
  value is least-positive-normalized-double-float
decode-universal-time, value is decode-universal-time
*compile-file-truename*, value is *compile-file-truename*
least-negative-double-float, value is least-negative-double-float
nset-difference, value is nset-difference
ensure-directories-exist, value is ensure-directories-exist
make-concatenated-stream, value is make-concatenated-stream
  value is update-instance-for-redefined-class
write-sequence, value is write-sequence
  value is least-positive-normalized-single-float
  value is single-float-negative-epsilon
;;  GETHASH works as usual but returns the KEY as if it 
;;  were the value:
cl-user(53): (gethash 'write-sequence svht)
;;  You can use SETF of GETHASH instead of PUTHASH-KEY. Note
;;  the value specified (10 in this case) is discarded:
cl-user(54): (setf (gethash nil svht) 10)
;;  GETHASH returns the key as the value. The value specified
;;  just above (10) is not stored so is not available:
cl-user(55): (gethash nil svht)
;;  NIL is returned because the KEY is NIL. When the key is NIL,
;;  you must look at the second return value to see if NIL is 
;;  in the hash table.

;;  In the second example, we create a EQUAL sans-value hash table
;;  and store some conses in it. We create a new cons and use
;;  PUTHASH-KEY to store it if necessary.  PUTHASH-KEY returns
;;  the stored cons if there, or the cons if just stored.  
cl-user(59): (setq cons-storer-ht (make-hash-table :test 'equal :values nil))
#<equal hash-table (sans values) with 0 entries @ #x4b78e3a%gt;
;;  We put some conses in the hash table:
cl-user(60): (puthash-key (list 'baltimore 'md) cons-storer-ht)
(baltimore md)
cl-user(61): (puthash-key (list 'boston 'ma) cons-storer-ht)
(boston ma)
cl-user(62): (puthash-key (list 'berkeley 'ca) cons-storer-ht)
(berkeley ca)
cl-user(63): (puthash-key (list 'reno 'nv) cons-storer-ht)
(reno nv)
;;  Here is a cons. We put it in the hashtable if necessary.
;;  PUTHASH-KEY returns the one there if present:
cl-user(64): (setq a (list 'boston 'ma))
(boston ma)
cl-user(65): (puthash-key a cons-storer-ht)
(boston ma)
;;  Note the new one is not the one returned:
cl-user(66): (eql a *)
;;  So we break the link to the new one, and use the stored
;;  one so only one copy is live in the image:
cl-user(67): (setq a **)
(boston ma)

6.10 cl:make-array



Package: common-lisp

Arguments: dims &key allocation element-type weak short [and other standard CL keyword args not listed here]

allocation is discussed first and then weak. short is discussed briefly after the discussion of weak and in detail in Section 3.0 Arrays and short arrays.

allocation: make-array, a standard Common Lisp function, has been extended to accept the allocation keyword argument. The value of this argument must be one of the following keywords (the default is :new, which produces the behavior of earlier releases).

Value of allocation argument Meaning
:new Allocate the new array data in new space (the usual behavior). Any array element type accepted. This is the default.
:old Try to allocate the new array data in old space immediately (without waiting for it to survive for the required number of scavenges). Any array element type accepted.

If there is not enough contiguous oldspace available to allocate the array, it will be allocated in newspace. resize-areas can be used before the allocation in order to ensure that there is enough oldspace available.

:static Allocate the new array in aclmalloc (foreign) space. The array will never be touched by the garbage collector and must be deallocated explicitly. The arrays must have a specialized element type since arrays of type t may contain pointers that the garbage collector may need to update. See the list of array types in Section 2.0 Data types and array types for a list of specialized array types. Note that if the upgraded-array-element-type of an element type is t, that array may not be allocated :static or :malloc.

You must explicitly free the space if it is no longer needed, as described below. :malloc and :static are synonyms. (Despite the :malloc argument name, aclmalloc is used to allocate space, not malloc. It is preferable to use :static rather than :malloc to avoid confusion about how the space is allocated.)

:static-reclaimable Allocate the new array data in aclmalloc (foreign) space and the header in Lisp space. The data will never be touched by the garbage collector but it will be deallocated when there are no pointers from Lisp (using a finalization). Only specialized arrays (not arrays of type t) can be allocated in this way, as with :static/:malloc allocations. See the description of those allocation types for more details.
:lispstatic-reclaimable Allocate the new array in aclmalloc (foreign) space. The array will never be touched by the garbage collector (except to update pointers back into Lisp space) until there are no pointers from Lisp, at which point the whole array will be deallocated explicitly. Any element-type may be specified for the array.

allocation is not a standard Common Lisp argument to make-array so programmers may wish to conditionalize it with #+allegro to preserve code portability.

Having created a static array, you may wish to free it. To do this, first pass the array to the function lispval-other-to-address, which will return an address (an integer). That address can be passed to aclfree. Note: if you reference the array after it has been freed, you will get garbage values. If you set a value in the array after it has been freed, you may cause Lisp to fail.

weak: make-array, a standard Common Lisp function, has been extended to accept the weak keyword argument. weak is not a standard Common Lisp argument to make-array so programmers may wish to conditionalize it with #+allegro to preserve code portability. weak may be true (meaning create a weak array) or nil (meaning create a standard array). The default is nil.

A Lisp object becomes garbage when nothing points to or references it. The way the garbage collector works is it finds and identifies live objects (often then moving them somewhere). Whatever is left is garbage. Weak arrays allow pointers to objects which will not, however, keep them alive. If one of these pointers exists, the garbage collector will see the item and (depending on the circumstances), either keep it alive or abandon it.

If you specify weak true, you cannot specify the non-standard allocation argument or the standard displaced-to argument. The only values accepted for the standard element-type argument are those for which no specialized array type for that element-type is defined (i.e. upgraded-array-element-type applied to element-type should return t, which in essence means you should not specify element-type).

short: Allegro CL supports two fundamental kinds of arrays: standard and short. Short arrays (equivalent to the array type in releases prior to 7.0) have a smaller maximum size than standard arrays. See Section 3.0 Arrays and short arrays for details. When :short t is specified, a short array is produced. Otherwise a standard array is produced.

See Weak arrays and hashtables in gc.htm for more information on weak arrays.

6.11 cl:namestring



Package: common-lisp

Arguments: pathname &key syntax

cl:namestring takes a pathname designator and returns the full namestring of the pathname. Allegro CL adds an additional keyword argument: syntax. The value of syntax can be nil or :unix. The behavior of the syntax argument is different on Unix and Unix-like platforms and on Windows.

On Unix and Unix-like platforms

The syntax argument is ignored.

On Windows

If syntax is :unix, any backward slashes in the pathname are converted to forward slashes. If syntax is nil (the default), no slashes are converted and cl:namestring behaves normally.

Thus, on Windows only,

(namestring "\\ftp\\pub\\patches\\8.0\\ftp.001" :syntax :unix)
  returns "/ftp/pub/patches/8.0/ftp.001"


(namestring "\\ftp\\pub\\patches\\8.0\\ftp.001")
  returns "\\ftp\\pub\\patches\\8.0\\ftp.001"

The argument was added to assist ftp functions called from Windows. Functions like map-over-ftp-directory called on Windows generates pathnames of the files in an ftp directory, but these generated pathnames use Windows syntax (with backward slashes delimiting directories). In order for these pathnames to be used in calls to other ftp functions, such as ftp-stream-file-mod-time, they must be first converted to Unix syntax. Users writing their own mapping functions for ftp directories may find this added feature of cl:namestring useful. The ftp client module is described in ftp.htm.

6.12 cl:defpackage and cl:in-package



Package: common-lisp

Arguments: defined-package-name &rest options

The specification of defpackage is silent on whether, when there are two defpackage forms for the same package, the second should augment the first or the second should replace the first.

Consider, for example, the following two defpackage forms:

(defpackage :newpack (:use :excl :cl))
(defpackage :newpack (:use :net.uri))

What is the package-use-list after the second defpackage form returns: a list of three packages (excl, common-lisp, and net.uri) or a list of a single package (net.uri)? Allegro CL augments the package specification rather than replacing it, as illustrated by the following transcript:

cl-user(1): (defpackage :newpack (:use :excl :cl))
#<The newpack package>
cl-user(2): (package-use-list (find-package :newpack))
(#<The excl package> #<The common-lisp package>)
cl-user(3): (defpackage :newpack (:use :net.uri))
#<The newpack package>
cl-user(4):  (package-use-list (find-package :newpack))
(#<The net.uri package> #<The excl package> #<The common-lisp package>)

Treatment of string designator arguments named by symbols

If you use a symbol (other than a keyword) to specify a value which is eventually converted into a string (such as the package name foo in (defpackage foo)), then the macroexpansion of the defpackage form will reference the uninterned symbol named foo, not foo internal in some package. This makes little difference to the Lisp which processes, either evaluating or compiling, the defpackage form -- foo will end up being interned in the current package when the form is read -- but does make a difference to Lisp images which simply read the fasl (compiled Lisp) file which contains the defpackage form.

This means that you can use symbols for names in defpackage forms in your application files, compile those files, and when you later use the compiled files to build your application, it will not have package name spaces cluttered by these symbols. Using a symbol has the advantage that it finesses the case-mode issue. (defpackage foo) creates the "FOO" package in an ANSI Lisp and the "foo" package in a modern Lisp (see case.htm).



Package: common-lisp

Arguments: package-name

The Common Lisp macro in-package changes the value of *package* to the package designated by package-name. If package-name is a symbol, the macroexpansion of the in-package form converts that symbol reference to an uninterned symbol of that name. See the discussion under the heading Treatment of string designator arguments named by symbols in the description of defpackage above for why this is a useful feature.

6.13 cl:file-length



Package: common-lisp

Arguments: stream

Allegro CL allows stream to be a pathname or a namestring as well as a stream open to a file (ANSI CL specifies only a stream open to a file). For a pathname or a namestring argument, the file-length function returns the size (number of octets, that is 8-bit bytes) of the associated file.

We also do not signal an error when the argument to file-length is a string stream or a buffer stream (instead of just a stream open to a file). See the discussion of file-length in Section 11.0 Conformance with the ANSI specification for further details.

6.14 cl:file-write-date

There are two implementation details for cl:file-write-date:

  1. A setf method has been provided for file-write-date. It sets the mtime (the modification time on UNIX) of the file. On Windows, the comparable value is set.
  2. If the file specified by the pathspec argument does not exist, nil is returned (rather than an error being signaled).

The fact that nil is returned when the argument file does not exist is arguably an ANSI non-compliance. The Spec says: "An error of type file-error is signaled if the file system cannot perform the requested operation". But it also says: "returns nil if such a time cannot be determined". Returning nil in this situation is longstanding behavior in Allegro CL and is being maintained.

6.15 cl:lisp-implementation-version

In Allegro CL, cl:lisp-implementation-version returns two value. The first is a string which is of the form

"[Version number] [[Platform]] ([Date and time of build])"

For example

"8.1 [64-bit Linux (AMD64)] (Feb 7, 2007 14:55)"

The second return value is a list of strings (there may be only one) that identify the Allegro shared library build version. For example:


NNN is an integer which is increased with each new build. (The library is often updated between releases because of patches.) So, a call looks like:

cl-user(2): (lisp-implementation-version)
"8.1 [64-bit Linux (AMD64)] (Feb 7, 2007 14:55)"

These examples are for illustration only. The values you see will be different. This information may be helpful when trying to identify a potential problem, allowing users at different sites to be sure they are running the same versions of all parts of Allegro CL.

6.16 cl:function-lambda-expression

cl:function-lambda-expression returns three values: the defining lambda expression, if available (nil is returned if it is unavailable); information on whether the function was or was not defined in the null lexical environment; and information on the function's name. Here we discuss when the first returned value might be non-nil:

6.17 Functionality for quickly writing and reading floats

Often you wish to write floating point numbers to a file which is read later, perhaps in the same Lisp invocation but more likely in a different one. The simple way to do this, writing the decimal representation of the floats, suffers from being very inefficient and somewhat inexact. (It is expensive to convert the internal binary representation to decimal for writing, and then the decimal representation back to binary when the values are read.)

Allegro CL provides functions that write and read the binary representation of floats (rather than the decimal representation), thus saving the time and loss of accuracy associated with conversion to and from decimal format. The functions are single-float-to-shorts, double-float-to-shorts, shorts-to-single-float, and shorts-to-double-float. Note that machine binary representations are used by most languages, and so, just as Allegro CL can read the files produced by writing the integers returned by single-float-to-shorts and convert them back to floating point numbers, programs easily written in other languages can do so as well.

6.18 cl:provide and cl:require

An additional version optional argument has been added to cl:provide and cl:require. It allows specifying a minimal version acceptable for loading a module.



Package: common-lisp

Arguments: module-name &optional version

The non-standard version argument, if specified, should be a positive real number (a float or an integer). This value is checked when the module specified by module-name is loaded. If the cl:require form also specified a version, it is compared (numerically) with the version in the provide form. If the require version is less than the provide version, a continuable error is signaled. If either form does not have a version specified, there will be no error.



Package: common-lisp

Arguments: module-name &optional pathname min-version

The non-standard min-version argument, if specified, should be a positive real number (a float or an integer). This value is compared with the version specified in the cl:provide form in the module. An error will be signaled if the cl:provide form has a version less than the value of min-version. If the cl:provide form has no version specified (or there is no cl:provide), no error will be signaled.

6.19 cl:macroexpand and cl:macroexpand-1

Both macroexpand and macroexpand-1 are enhanced to receive a new argument, special-operator-stop, and to add behavior for specific kinds of environments.



Package: common-lisp

Arguments: form &optional environment special-operator-stop

A second (non-standard) optional argument, special-operator-stop, has been added to allow controlling behavior for specific kinds of environments.

If the environment passed in is a :compiler environment (as opposed to a :compilation, :interpreter, :evaluation, or :macros-only) then compiler-macros will be expanded by both macroexpand and macroexpand-1. This is to simulate what happens when the compiler does its macro expansions. Note that this behavior is an extension to the ANSI Spec, which states that compiler-macros are not expanded by macroexpand/macroexpand-1. Note also that any portable code-walker which expects to receive an ansi-compliant environment must condition the environment by using sys:ensure-portable-walking-environment on the argument.

If a :compiler environment is passed in to macroexpand/macroexpand-1 and special-operator-stop is true, then a special-form (a form whose car is a special-operator) will not be macroexpanded, as is otherwise usually the situation. This feature is provided to allow a specialized code-walker (not necessarily a portable one) to see what special forms the compiler sees. If the walker then knows how to interpret the syntax of the special-operator, it can do so in an implementation-dependent way; otherwise, it can always do the macroexpansion again with the special-operator-stop set to nil, in order to get a full macroexpansion through the special form.


cl-user(1): (setq env (sys:make-compilation-unit-environment))
#<Augmentable compiler environment @ #x40c916aa>
cl-user(2): (macroexpand '(case num
                            (1 (foo "one"))
                            (2 (foo "two"))
                            (3 (foo "three"))
                            (otherwise (foo "unknown")))
(let ()
  (cond ((eql '1 num) (foo "one"))
        ((eql '2 num) (foo "two"))
        ((eql '3 num) (foo "three"))
        (t (foo "unknown"))))
cl-user(3): (macroexpand '(case num
                            (1 (foo "one"))
                            (2 (foo "two"))
                            (3 (foo "three"))
                            (otherwise (foo "unknown")))
(let ()
  (cond ((eql '1 num) (foo "one"))
        ((eql '2 num) (foo "two"))
        ((eql '3 num) (foo "three"))
        (t (foo "unknown"))))
cl-user(4): (macroexpand '(case num
                            (1 (foo "one"))
                            (2 (foo "two"))
                            (3 (foo "three"))
                            (otherwise (foo "unknown")))
                            env t)
(excl::simple-case num (1 (foo "one")) (2 (foo "two")) (3 (foo "three"))
                   (otherwise (foo "unknown")))
cl-user(5): (macroexpand-1 * env t)
(excl::simple-case num (1 (foo "one")) (2 (foo "two")) (3 (foo "three"))
                   (otherwise (foo "unknown")))
cl-user(6): (macroexpand-1 * env)
(let ()
  (cond ((eql '1 num) (foo "one"))
        ((eql '2 num) (foo "two"))
        ((eql '3 num) (foo "three"))
        (t (foo "unknown"))))



Package: common-lisp

Arguments: form &optional environment special-operator-stop

The effect of the second (non-standard) optional argument to macroexpand-1 is the same as described just above in the description of macroexpand in Allegro CL. See that description and the associated examples for further details.

6.20 cl:simple-condition-format-arguments and cl:simple-condition-format-control

The generic functions cl:simple-condition-format-control and cl:simple-condition-format-arguments take condition arguments and return the values of the respective slots. Allegro CL extends the condition system to define and sometimes bind the format-control and format-arguments slots in all conditions. That is, the slots always exist but are only sometimes bound. The slot names are internal in the excl package, and so are excl::format-control and excl::format-arguments.

Because the slots are not always bound (except for actual simple-conditions), code should check that there are bound before trying to access them, with tests like:

(slot-boundp instance 'excl::format-control)
(slot-boundp instance 'excl::format-arguments)

Because these slots need not exist in Lisps other than Allegro CL (again except for simple-conditions) code which tries to access them should be conditionalized for Allegro CL.

Many conditions in Allegro CL which are not simple conditions bind these slots (including, for example, undefined-function and and unbound-variable). We do not give a list, however, because it will likely go out of date. Users who wish to make use of the slot value should, again, test whether they are bound before accessing them.

6.21 What user-homedir-pathname does on Windows

user-homedir-pathname is a Common Lisp function that "determines the pathname that corresponds to the user's home directory on host." host is an optional argument.

In Allegro CL, the host argument is ignored in all cases. Allegro CL simply polls the Operating system in which it is running asking for the current user's home directory. On UNIX, this concept is well defined. On Windows, the notion of a home directory is more murky. Here is what Allegro CL does on Windows.

  1. If the environment variables HOMEDRIVE and HOMEPATH are set and the string made from concatenating them together names a valid pathname, it is returned.
  2. Otherwise, if there is a value for the HOME environment variable, and it names a valid pathname, that pathname is returned.
  3. Otherwise #P"C\\" is returned.

If in step 1 or 2, an invalid pathname is constructed (typically a pathname naming a non-existent directory), a warning is signaled and the invalid pathname is not returned.

On Windows, you can change what user-homedir-pathname returns in a running Lisp by setting the values of the HOMEDRIVE and HOMEPATH environment variables to be strings which when concatenated name the desired existing directory, for example (here we leave HOMEDRIVE unchanged):

(setf (sys:getenv "HOMEPATH") "\\mydir\\")

Only the Lisp process see these new values. You are not setting them for all processes or permanently. See also username-to-home-directory.

6.22 The standard readtable is read-only, affect on with-standard-io-syntax and modifying the readtable in init files and with -e

The standard readtable, which is the initial value of *readtable* cannot be modified. You can, of course, copy it and modify the copy as desired.

The restriction on modifying the standard readtable can affect user code in the following cases:

Making changes to *readtable* in your file or with the -e argument

Suppose you want to make the { character into a reader macro which extracts a specified element from a list (this is the example in the ANS description of set-dispatch-macro-character), and you put the following form into your file or with the -e command-line argument (see Initialization and the and [.] files and Command line arguments in startup.htm):

 (set-dispatch-macro-character #\# #\{        ;dispatch on #{
    #'(lambda(s c n)
        (let ((list (read s nil (values) t)))  ;list is object after #n{
          (when (consp list)                   ;return nth element of list
            (unless (and n (> 0 n (length list))) (setq n 0))
            (setq list (nth n list)))

Since the optional readtable argument is not specified, it defaults to *readtable*, but while the init file is being processed, the value of *readtable* is the initial readtable and that is read-only, so that form will signal an error. What you must do is create your own readtable and modify it:

(defvar *my-rt* (copy-readtable nil))
(setq *readtable* *my-rt*)

Now the form will work, modifying the reatable which is the value of *my-rt* and (for now) the value of *readtable*.

The same forms work when evaluated with the -e command-line argument (see Command line arguments in startup.htm).

But when the listener starts up, it will bind *readtable* to a value specified in the association list which is the value of *cl-default-special-bindings* (see Setting global variables in initialization files in startup.htm). The entry for *readtable* is initially (*readtable* copy-readtable nil), which means the listener will see a copy of the default readtable, not your modified one. (In earlier releases, you modified the default readtable so the changes were propagated.)

You modify *required-top-level-bindings* with a form like the following which you put below the forms above in your init file or as a later form passed with -e:

(setf (third (assoc '*readtable* *required-top-level-bindings*)) '*my-rt*)

6.23 Validity of value of end arguments to sequence functions not checked

If you specify an improper value as the value of the end keyword argument to sequence functions (or the end1 or end2 arguments), no checking is done and you may get an error or an incorrect result. In this example, you get an incorrect result (the third returned value should also be nil because the effective end of array is 0, but end2 is specified as 3 so that value is used):

cl-user(3): (let ((*print-array* t)
                   (array (make-array 0 :fill-pointer 0
                                        :adjustable t)))
               (vector-push-extend :a array)
               (vector-push-extend :b array)
               (vector-push-extend :c array)
               (vector-push-extend :d array)
               (setf (fill-pointer array) 0)
               (values array
                       (search '(:b :c) array)
                       (search '(:b :c) array :end2 3)))

This lack of checking is permitted by the ANS. Actually checking every case would burden legal code to protect against erroneous code. Users should check themselves if this is an issue.

6.24 Speed and pretty printing

While investigating ways to speed up Allegro CL, developers at Franz determined that pretty printing was a significant user of compute cycles, and that turning pretty printing off produced significant speedup of code that did output. This conclusion is not particularly suprising, of course. It takes work to produce pretty output. The question is, what to do about it. Turning off pretty printing sounds easier than it is.

Allegro CL starts with *print-pretty* set to t and further, the value in *cl-default-special-bindings* is (essentially) t as well. So simply setting *print-pretty* to nil will not work because the true value will tend to return unexpectedly (in new processes, for example).

Further, user code may depend on the initial value of *print-pretty* being t, so the initial value could not be changed.

However, we can make suggestions to users so that they can achieve the speedups when desired.

In a development image

There are three steps.

(1) change the value of *print-pretty* in *cl-default-special-bindings* to nil by evaluating

(setq *print-pretty* nil)
(tpl:setq-default *print-pretty* nil)

(See setq-default.)

(2) avoid using format strings that are pretty-printing by nature (such as ~< ... ~:$gt;).

(3) Set the value of *pprint-gravity* to nil. Code in Allegro CL that used to bind *print-pretty* to t now bind it to *pprint-gravity*. That variable is not set on the *cl-default-special-bindings* list.

In custom images

There is a module pprint.fasl. When loaded into an image, it sets *print-pretty* and *pprint-gravity* to t. This module is loaded automatically when an image is built with a standard top-level. However, when an image is built with a minimal top-level (as described in Minimal top levels in building-images.htm, the pprint module is not loaded.

So when building an image, you can include them for a development image (above), putting them in, say,, or you can build the image with a minimal top-level.

Note that the guts of pretty-printing are in the pprint module. Whenever a format statement, or a print statement with *print-pretty* set to t, is executed, the pprint module is required, so that the machinery is present to do the pretty-printing. So you have to be careful to avoid such cases. If you need pretty printing, you should use the strategy presented above rather than a minimal top-level strategy.

Starting in release 6.2, the new variable *print-circle-gravity* acts with respect to *print-circle* as *pprint-gravity* does with *print-pretty*: no Allegro CL code sets the value of *print-circle*. Instead, Allegro CL code binds it where necessary to the value of *print-circle-gravity*, and *print-circle-gravity* is only set in two places: initially to nil and in the :pprint module to t.

Further notes

Please check the Allegro CL FAQ from time to time to see if there is new information on this issue.

6.25 class-precedence-list: when is it available?

The class-precedence-list is calculated by mop:finalize-inheritance but it is not installed into the class until close to the end of finalization, as mop:class-precedece-list signals a program error when the class is not finalized. But the class-precedence-list is available much earlier and can be accessed with

(slot-value class 'mop:class-precedence-list)

after it is actually calculated (but before the operator mop:class-precedece-list can access it).

6.26 Floating-point infinities and NaNs, and floating-point underflow and overflow

The IEEE floating-point standard calls for infinities and NaNs (Not-a-Number) to be represented and used. So division of a non-zero finite float by zero produces an infinity, while a division of zero by zero produces a NaN.

the Common Lisp standard does not call for these special floats (as they are often called), but does allow for implementation of IEEE. Further, compiled code which dispatches directly to an IEEE floating-point processor may get back a special float result which it may just return, particularly if it is compiled at high speed and low safety. So consider the following from Allegro CL:

cl-user(115): (defun foo-err (sf)
                (declare (single-float sf))
                (declare (optimize (speed 1) (safety 1)))
                (/ 1.0 sf))
cl-user(116): (compile *)
cl-user(117): (foo-err 0.0)
Error: Attempt to divide 1.0 by zero.
  [condition type: division-by-zero]
[1] cl-user(118): :reset
cl-user(119): (defun foo-inf (sf)
                (declare (single-float sf))
                (declare (optimize (speed 3) (safety 1)))
                (/ 1.0 sf))
cl-user(120): (compile *)
cl-user(121): (foo-inf 0.0)

In the safe code, we get an error. In the fast code, we (silently) get infinity. This is not unexpected. Fast code is supposed to be fast and it achieves speed by discarding checks. The fp processor on the machine where this was run is an IEEE processor and it does not set the error flag for division by zero. Instead, it retuns the legal IEEE float infinity.

There are predicate function that return true when an object is a floating-point infinity or a NaN. exceptional-floating-point-number-p returns true when passed an floating-point infinity or NaN. nanp returns true when passed a NaN and infinityp returns true when passed an infinity.

Because underflows and overflows often signal an error, code like (expt most-positive-single-float 2) will now error rather than returning an infitity. Users who want infinite value and who do something like:

(defvar +single-positive-infinity+ (expt most-positive-single-float 2))

should instead do

(defvar +single-positive-infinity+ excl:*infinity-single*)

The six special-float constants are:

Arithmetic operations with special floats are legal. Generally, the result of an operation with a special float is a special float, the exception being dividing by infinity which produces zero. The following table shows the result of operations. Note we do not cover all cases nor most floating-point coercion cases. An operation with a double and a single results in a double.






*nan-single* Any single *nan-single*


*nan-single* Any double *nan-double*


*nan-double* Any *nan-double*


*infinity-single* finite single-float *infinity-single*


*infinity-single* finite double-float *infinity-double*


*infinity-double* Any finite *infinity-double*


*infinity-single* *negative-infinity-single* *nan-single*


Any finite single-float *infinity-single* *negative-infinity-single*


*infinity-single* Any positive single-float *infinity-single*


*infinity-single* Any negative single-float *negative-infinity-single*


*infinity-single* 0.0S0 *nan-single*


*infinity-single* *infinity-single* *nan-single*


*infinity-single* any positive finite single-float *infinity-single*


any finite single-float *infinity-single* 0.0S0


0.0S0 *infinity-single* 0.0S0


*infinity-single* 0.0S0 *infinity-single*


Any positive single-float 0.0S0 *infinity-single*


0.0S0 0.0S0 *nan-single*

Handling underflow (and overflow) errors

Actually, we just discuss underflow errors. The same method will work with overflow errors. Before handling the error, you must decide what you want to do: for an underflow, do you want to return zero? Or (if sorking in single-floats), switch to doubles and try again? Or return least-positive-single-float or least-positive-single-float (assuming positives)? See also the function read-tiny-float which handles the underflow error when reading a single float from a string, giving you the option of returning zero or the least-positive/least-negative float of the appropriate format.

Once you have decided that, code like the following will handle the error:

;; This read-from-string form will signal an underflow error:
cl-user(1): (read-from-string "4.9e-324")
Error: expt operation on (2.0 -723) resulted in floating point underflow.
   [condition type: floating-point-underflow]

;; This condition code will trap the error and return 0.0:

(catch 'trap-error
 (handler-bind ((floating-point-underflow
		 #'(lambda (c)
		     (declare (ignore c))
		     (throw 'trap-error 0.0))))
   (read-from-string "4.9e-324")))

That condition code can be adapted to other underflows and also overflows (changing the condition type to floating-point-overflow).

6.27 The :nat and :unsigned-nat types

Because the natural word size on 32-but machine is 32-bits and on 64-bit machines is 64-bit, we have defined new types nat and unsigned-nat which is a 32-bit integer on 32-bit machines and a 64-bit integer on 64-bit machines. One can use nat and unsigned-nat in places where int and unsigned-int (and sometimes, long and unsigned-long) normally go. This allows sources for both 32-bit and 64-bit lisps to be the same.

Functions that accept nat and unsigned-nat as values for arguments include memref and memref-int and stack-cushion and set-stack-cushion. See also ftype.htm (particularly The Syntax for Foreign Types) and lisp.h.

6.28 The #A reader macro

The #A reader macro is a standard Common Lisp reader macro, document here is the ANS. Allegro CL extends #A as we describe next. The usage template is:

  #{n}A{t}data      ;; The braces -- {} -- indicate the value is optional
                    ;; data must be a sequence.

The standard CL usage template is #nAdata. Allegro CL makes the n parameter optional (it defaults to 1). The new optional parameter t can be used to specify the element-type and can be one of u4, u8, u16, u32, u64 s8, s16, s32, or s64. s indicates signed-byte, u unsigned-byte. the integer represents the number of bits per byte. So, for example, #Au8(1 2 3 4) reads as an (unsigned-byte 8), 1-dimensional array (that is, a vector) with 4 elements, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

The reader will always read the new format correctly, but the printer will only use the new format when the variable *print-simple-array-specialized* is true. The new format is, of course, not portable to other Common Lisp implementations. When that variable is nil, the standard #nAdata format is printed.

When n is 0, it is assumed that t is not provided, so #0Au8123 produces a 0-dimensional array of type t (not type (unsigned-byte 8)).

6.29 Allegro CL print variables can follow the CL print variable value

Allegro CL has a number of printer variables which control the length and level of particular kinds of printing. Thus, tpl:*print-length* controls the print-length used when printing return values at the top-level. cl:*print-length* controls the print-length used by the various print functions. This example illustrates the difference. Recall print returns its argument after printing it:

(setq *print-length* nil)
(setq tpl:*print-length* 5)

cl-user(16): (print '(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10))

(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10) 
(1 2 3 4 5 ...)

The Allegro CL print variables can have the same values as the CL ones (an integer or nil). They may also have the value :follow. That value means use the value of the corresponding CL variable. So if we make :follow the value of tpl:*print-length*, we get this behavior:

cl-user(9): (setq *print-length* 5)
cl-user(10): (setq tpl:*print-length* :follow)
cl-user(11): (print '(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10))

(1 2 3 4 5 ...) 
(1 2 3 4 5 ...)
cl-user(12): (setq *print-length* nil)
cl-user(13): (print '(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10))

(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10) 
(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10)

This facility should be used with care, especially with the tracing print variables (*trace-print-level* etc.), since it eliminates the protection those variables provide by default when huge or circular objects are encountered during tracing, or contrarily, it may prevent trace from providing useful output. A traced function may be called in a dynamic environment where some surrounding code has for its own legitimate purposes bound some of these variables to extreme values.

The Allegro CL print variables include:

6.30 64 bit Allegro CL Implementations

Most platforms support 32-bit and 64-bit Lisps. (See Installation sizes and supported Operating System versions in installation.htm for a list of supported platforms and Lisps.)

For the most part there is no compatibility issue, especially when dealing with Lisp. The exceptions are:

Again, most pure-lisp behavior will be completely portable between 32-bit and 64-bit lisps, and that at most a user is likely only to see wider values while inspecting objects, or larger addresses in room displays.

For operations that must deal with specific sizes but do not use the def-foreign-type interface, the natural type (in Lisp) and the nat type (in C) provides a simple method to allow compatibility between 32-bit and 64-bit lisp code and foreign modules.

7.0 Platform-specific issues

8.0 Allegro CL and the ANSI CL standard

Allegro CL is an implementation of Common Lisp as specified by the ANSI X3J13 committee. The standard of conformance has been accepted by ANSI as final. ANSI is the American National Standards Institute, and the X3J13 committee prepared the ANSI standard for Common Lisp.

Common Lisp was originally specified in Common Lisp: the Language, 1st edition (CLtL-1). That standard is now out of date. Common Lisp: the Language, 2nd edition (CLtL-2) describes an early version of the ANSI standard. It is still used but please understand that the final ANSI standard has diverged in a number of ways from CLtL-2, so CLtL-2 is no longer definitive.

8.1 Compatibility with pre-ANSI CLtL-1 in Allegro CL

Use of the cltl-1 module is deprecated.

Loading the cltl-1 module may affect ANSI compliance. Note compiler-let is available and exported from the excl package.

The several symbols removed from the language by X3J13 but preserved by Allegro CL for backward compatibility are exported from the cltl1 package. These generally retain their CLtL-1 definitions. We list the symbols exported from the cltl1 package at the end of this section. Note that the definitions are in the :cltl1 module.

Two symbols exported from the flavors package conflict with symbols now exported from the common-lisp package as part of CLOS: defmethod and make-instance. This means that no package can use the flavors package without shadowing these two symbols. See the code at the beginning of flavors.htm.

The following symbols in the cltl1 package have been deleted from standard Common Lisp by X3J13. They (for the most part) maintain their CLtL-1 functionality. You may use the cltl1 package to get backward compatibility but we recommend that you write all new code so that you do not use these symbols and that you modify all existing code as soon as practical.

Note that special-form-p is in the cltl1 package. That symbol was previously in the common-lisp package but has been replaced in that package with the symbol special-operator-p.

These symbols were in the cltl1 package since release 4.0 and are still there:

8.2 Other package changes and compile-time-too behavior

X3J13 made a number of improvements to the package system in order to facilitate portability and to regularize the handling of top-level forms in a file. The function in-package was changed to a macro, and its various keyword arguments were deleted. The macro expansion of in-package is defined to have effect at compile, load, and eval times, but no longer creates a package if it does not exist, nor modifies any existing package. These functionalities are subsumed by the new defpackage macro, along with that of the several other package-manipulating functions. The package name argument to in-package is no longer evaluated. Execution of an in-package form referencing an unknown package or containing optional arguments signals a continuable error.

The variable *cltl1-in-package-compatibility-p* makes in-package work as it did in CLtL-1 Common Lisp. Users porting code from Allegro CL for Windows 3.0.x (which used CLtL-1 semantics in this regard) may find this variable useful. We do recommend modifying the code in the long run, however.

By compile-time-too behavior, we refer to the effect of certain top-level forms in a file being compiled. In CLtL-1, top-level forms which were calling the functions listed below were treated as if they were wrapped in an

(eval-when (compile)) 

form. That behavior has been changed in the new standard and you must wrap such forms in appropriate eval-when forms if they are to have effect while a file is being compiled. The affected functions are:


The variable *cltl1-compile-file-toplevel-compatibility-p* can be used to get CLtL-1 compile-time-too behavior when compiling files. Users porting code from Allegro CL for Windows 3.0.x (which used CLtL-1 semantics in this regard) may find this variable useful. We do recommend modifying the code in the long run, however.

8.3 The function data type

X3J13 tightened the definition of the function data type, primarily so generic functions could discriminate on functional arguments. It was necessary that the type represented by the function datatype and functionp predicate be disjoint from all other datatypes. Therefore, in Allegro CL since version 4.2 the only objects that are type function are those returned by the function special form, or by the compile function given a first argument of nil, or by coerce of a lambda expression to type function, or functions loaded from a compiled file. X3J13 specifies that the funcall and apply functions will continue to accept a symbol for the first argument, but a symbol is no longer functionp, nor are lists beginning with lambda, sometimes called lambda expressions. For backward compatibility the funcall and apply functions in Allegro CL will still accept a lambda expression, as is permitted by X3J13, but as required by X3J13 lambda expressions no longer satisfy functionp nor (typep function).

8.4 CLOS and MOP

Previous versions of Allegro CL have used Portable Common Loops (PCL) as a substitute for the Common Lisp Object System (CLOS) which was adopted by X3J13 as a standard part of Common Lisp. The last several versions of PCL worked in most ways the same as CLOS and provided most of the required features. (Some unavoidable divergences of PCL from CLOS derived from the dependence of CLOS on certain other incompatible language changes.)

Since CLOS replaces PCL completely, there has been no attempt to port any version of PCL to Allegro CL since prior to release 4.3. Doing such a port would be difficult, and would not benefit from the significant speed advantages of the native CLOS implementation in Allegro CL. User code that depends on various details of PCL (especially internals) may have temporary difficulties, but in any case such code will someday need to be brought into conformance with CLOS. In addition to full conformance with CLOS, of course, the other advantage of the native CLOS implementation is its greatly enhanced runtime performance.

CLOS is documented in chapter 28 of CLtL-2. MOP is documented in the book The Art of MetaObject Protocol.

It is possible to trace, disassemble, and compile CLOS methods by name. Here is an example of tracing.

USER(14): (defmethod my-function ((x integer)) (cons x :integer))
  #<clos:standard-method my-function ...>
  USER(15): (my-function 1)
  (1 . :integer)
  USER(16): (trace ((method my-function (integer))))
  ((method my-function (integer)))
  USER(17): (my-function 1)
  0: ((method my-function (integer)) 1)
  0: returned (1 . :integer)
  (1 . :integer)
  USER(18): (untrace (method my-function (integer)))
  ((method my-function (integer)))
  USER(19): (my-function 1)
  (1 . :integer)

Here is how to trace setf, :before, and :after methods (the names and argument types will likely be different in your case, of course):

(trace ((method (setf slot-1) (t baz))))
  (trace ((method foo :before (integer))))
  (trace ((method foo :after (integer))))

The extra set of parentheses is required to avoid confusion with specifying trace options (they are specified with a list whose car is the function to be traced and whose cdr is a possibly empty list of options). Note that the extra set of parentheses is not used with untrace:

(untrace (method (setf slot-1) (t baz)))
  (untrace (method foo :before (integer)))
  (untrace (method foo :after (integer)))

A generic function itself can be traced exactly like any other function.

8.5 CLOS and MOP conformance

We list known non-conformances with CLOS and MOP. The basic format is to list the object that is unimplemented or only partially implemented with a brief description of the non-conformance. Unqualified symbols are part of CLOS and are exported from the common-lisp package. Symbols qualified with clos: are part of MOP (they are exported from the clos package).

[Generic function] clos:class-prototype

Implemented for clos::std-class only. clos::std-class (which is not part of the CLOS standard) is a superclass of funcallable-standard-class and standard-class but is not a superclass of forward-referenced-class, structure-class, and built-in-class. Therefore, methods are defined on the first two classes but not the next three. (This is not actually a non-conformance.)

[Special form] generic-flet

Removed from spec by X3J13 and not implemented.

[Macro] generic-function

Removed from spec by X3J13 and not implemented.

[Special form] generic-labels

Removed from spec by X3J13 and not implemented.

[Generic function] clos:make-method-lambda

Not implemented.

[Special form] with-added-methods

Removed from spec by X3J13 and not implemented.

8.6 CLOS optimization

Calls to make-instance where the class-name is a quoted constant and each of the keywords is a constant are transformed by the compiler into calls to constructor functions. A constructor function is a piece of code that is equivalent to the make-instance call except that it is significantly (10 to 100 times) faster.

The optimization is automatic when the call to make-instance is formed in a particular way. In order for an optimized constructor function to be used certain restrictions apply:

  1. The set of keywords must be valid for the call.
  2. Only certain methods must be applicable as defined by the following table:

Generic function

Condition for optimization

make-instance Only system supplied methods are applicable
initialize-instance Only system supplied standard method and user-supplied :after methods are applicable
shared-initialize Only system supplied standard method and user-supplied :after methods are applicable

The calls to make-instance are replaced by calls to the constructor regardless of whether an optimized constructor can be used. The first time the constructor function is called, the restrictions are tested and if they do not apply, an optimized constructor is generated. When the restrictions are not obeyed the constructor calls make-instance. Redefining a class or one of its superclasses or adding/removing a method to one of the generic functions mentioned above causes the constructor function to be recomputed.

9.0 Function specs (fspecs)

Function specs name and possibly locate functions not named or located by symbols. Generally, a function spec is used and presented in the same way as a symbol, although there are sometimes restrictions. Some such functions like (setf foo) can be located based on the name, via (fdefinition '(setf foo)) or #'(setf foo), while others are intended only to identify the function in a meaningful way, as in (:top-level-form "" 235). The extent of the action that can be performed on a function spec depends on its function spec handler, see def-function-spec-handler.

A function spec (fspec) is a list that denotes a place to store a function. Function specs are useful for functions that don't otherwise have obvious names. ANSI CL defines Function Names as either symbols or the lists formed by (setf  [symbol]) [to denote a writer function to pair with the reader function named by [symbol] which may or may not itself be defined]. Allegro CL extends the Function Name concept by defining function specs, and allows the user to create new kinds of function specs. Some pre-defined function spec names in Allegro CL are :discriminator, :effective-method, method, flet, labels, :internal, :top-level-form, etc.

Function specs are normally kept in an internal form, which allows many of the cons cells in various fspecs to be shared. They are converted to the normal external format usually only when printing, or at other times when parsing the internal form is too complex. Handlers of fspecs must be aware of these internal formats and may use the following functions to access their components: fspec-first, fspec-second, fspec-third.

Each of these functions will work on either an internal or external fspec, and will for an external fspec return the first, second, or third element, respectively (i.e. just like first, second, and third). If the fspec is in internal form, the proper corresponding element is still returned, but without the overhead of first converting to an external fspec.

Users can define their own function specs with def-function-spec-handler. The function function-name-p returns true when passed a valid function spec defined with def-function-spec-handler. fboundp can be used to determine whether a valid function spec defined with def-function-spec-handler actually names an operator.

9.1 Supported function specs

The following function specs are supported in Allegro CL. Note that some might only be recognized as function-specs when their appropriate modules are loaded. In all descriptions, the Available line describes when the function-spec is valid. The Elements line names the fspec-first element of the fspec, as well as fspec-second and, if applicable, fspec-third and elements beyond three.


Available: When compiler is present

Elements: (:anonymous-lambda index)

Names a compiled function that has not been given any other name. The index is an integer that is incremented for every new anonymous function created. This function-spec is not intended for defining or manipulation; it is recognized as a function name, but if for example the evaluation of (compile nil (lambda (x) (1- x))) returns #<Function (:ANONYMOUS-LAMBDA 2) @ #x406eae5a> then (fdefinition '(:ANONYMOUS-LAMBDA 2)) will still result in an undefined function error. These names are not stored and not retrievable. They are also not recommended - instead, when compiling an anonymous lambda, it is easier to work with when given a name:

CL-USER(10): (compile 'foobar (lambda (x) (1- x)))
CL-USER(11): #'foobar
#<Function FOOBAR>


Available: always

Elements: (:discriminator type)

Names any of the various discriminator functions, which memoize and select effective methods for particular calls. The type is a list whose car is the name of the kind of discriminator, and whose rest will have other parameterizations based on the discriminator kind. The various kinds of discriminators are listed below with their parameterizations and a short description. The parameterizations themselves are:

Here are the actual discriminators:

(:one-index-reader class-slot-p)
(:one-index-writer class-slot-p)

For slot accessors, if the index is the same for every call (even though the specialized classes might be different) then the index, which is remembered by the discriminator, can simply be used to grab the slot value out of the instance based on the single index encountered. If the discriminator ever encounters a specialization whose slot is at a different index, the discriminator is replaced with the checking version.

(:few-class-reader class-slot-p)
(:few-class-writer class-slot-p)

If this discriminator's slot accessor has only ever been called with only one or two classes, both are noted and the appropriate one is used. If the call uses a third class, the discriminator is replaced with the n-n version.


For this discriminator's slot accessor, the specializer class and its index are stored in pairs into a cache, and looked up in subsequent calls.

(:checking metatypes applyp)

This discrimator's specializers can be numerous, as long as they all result in the same method being called. That method is stored once, and all sets of specializers, one set per unique call, and if the specialiers match, the stored method is used. If a differnt method is required, the discriminator is replaced with the equivalent caching version.

(:caching metatypes applyp)

This discriminator's specializers determine what method is to be called; if the set matches a set stored into the cache, the method becomes immediately available. If the specializers haven't been seen yet, the method is calculated and stored into the cache beore being called.


Available: always

Elements: (:effective-method num-req restp kwdcheck aroundp next-method-p)

Names a simple effective method function object, which is a closure over the applicable methods for a particular call to a generic function.

Note that kwdcheck implies restp, and aroundp implies next-method-p so the valid combinations are

    restp	kwdcheck	aroundp		next-method-p
    -----	--------	-------		-------------
    nil		nil		nil		nil
    nil		nil		nil		t
    nil		nil		t		t
    t		nil		nil		nil
    t		nil		nil		t
    t		nil		t		t
    t		t		nil		nil
    t		t		nil		t
    t		t		t		t


Available: always

Elements: (:internal outer-name index)

Provides a way of numbering compiled internal functions which serve the functions they are lodged within. The index is numbered in the order these functions are encountered within the compiler, so there is a loose top-to-bottom organization (e.g. #'(internal foo 0) is likely to textually preceed #'(:internal foo 1), etc). The outer-name is the name of the function which houses the internal function. It can itself be any fspec, including an :internal fspec, so :interal fspecs can be nested. :internal fspecs can't be used in defun, but can be found by fdefinition, as long as the outer-name can also be found by fdefinition.


Available: always

Elements: (:property symbol indicator)

Creates a convenient way to define functions which reside on property lists. The function object becomes the value of the indicator property on the symbol's plist. Example: typing

(defun (:property foo bar) (x)
  (list x))

at the toplevel will result in the symbol 'foo having a 'bar property which is a function (and that functions name is '(:property foo bar)).


Available: always

Elements: (:top-level-form filename file-character-position)

Provides naming for random forms at the top level in a fasl file which refers back to its original source file. The file element is a string specifying the filename, and the position is the character count of the opening parenthesis of the form. The file-character-position is determined assuming the first character in the file has character position 0. See file-character-position.


  1. Since progn forms are compiled as if separate forms, but they are all in fact part of the same form, there can be many function objects with the same :top-level-form fspec. Also, since a defmacro can expand into a progn form, a macro form might also result in numerous funtions with the same :top-level-form fspec, as well as other more standard fspecs such as those created by defun forms embedded in the macroexpansion.
  2. The position of :top-level-form fspecs must be adjusted on Windows, or in any situation where "CRLF" processing or any other ligature processing or stream encapsulation would cause the number of actual characters the lisp sees to be altered from the number of characters actually in the file. Usually, if the editor doesn't support counting the CR/LF line endings as two characters, the position in a Windows file can be "fixed" or at least mitigated by adding the current line number to the position. If that results in more lines being traversed, those lines should be added as well.


Available: When the Runtime Alalyzer is loaded (see runtime-analyzer.htm), and when a profile exists that has been created with the :interpret-closures option to with-profiling or start-profiler.

Elements: (prof:closure index)

When :interpret-closures is true during the creation of a profile, this function spec allows the user to see closure calls that otherwise are unrelated as separate hits in the profiling run. The flat-profile and the call-graph will both show closures as (prof:closure index) rather than by trying to interpret the function name of the template, which is sometimes not helpful. See Closures in runtime analysis output in runtime-analyzer.htm.


Elements: (compiler-macro function-spec)

Allows easy access to compiler macros as fspecs, rather than using the compiler-macro-function accessor. Function-spec is the same as the quoted function-spec required as an argument to compiler-macro-function.


(define-compiler-macro (setf foo) (x y) (setf x y))

will define a compiler-macro for (setf foo), and subsequently evaluating any of #'(compiler-macro (setf foo)) or (fdefinition '(compiler-macro (setf foo))) or (compiler-macro-function '(setf foo)) will yield the compiler-macro-function just created.


Available: always

Elements: (flet outer-name inner-name)

Provides a way to directly name compiled internal flet functions, which are of course always lodged within other functions. The inner-name is the function-name element of the flet form, which serves lexically within the outer funcion as the identifier. The outer-name is the name of the function which houses the flet function. It can itself be any fspec. This fspec can't be used in defun, but can be used in fdefinition (as long as the flt and its outer-name function are compiled).


Available: always

Elements: (labels outer-name inner-name)

Like flet, only a labels function is described.


Available: always

Elements: (method name [qualifiers] specializers)

Allows a CLOS method to be named directly. Name is the name of the generic-function of the method. There can be multiple qualifiers which determine and are determined by the method combination type. Specializers is a list that corresponds to the names of class specializatoins for each argument in the method; if the argument is specialized, the specializer is the name of the class; if the argument is not specialized, the specializer is T. The method fspec cannot be used in defun, but can be used in fdefinition.


Available: always

Elements: (setf reader)

This is the only standard fspec. It defines the name of the setf version of the (possibly non-existent) reader function. This fspec can be used in defun or fdefinition.

10.0 Some low-level functionality

10.1 Windows: GetWinMainArgs2

The C function GetWinMainArgs2 in the Allegro CL dll (which has a name like acly7xxx.dll, where the y, if present, is a letter and the x's are digits) is used by the IDE to retrieve Windows handle information known by the ACL runtime system. This information may also be useful for applications written in Lisp. The information returned by this function should be used carefully and non-destructively as the ACL runtime system (i.e. the low-level routines in Allegro CL, unrelated to Allegro Runtime) depends on these handles to exist and behave in predictable ways.

In order to use this function you must use the foreign function interface to create a Lisp function to call the C function:

(ff:def-foreign-call (GetWinMainArgs2 "GetWinMainArgs2") 
         ((vec (:array :int)) (count :int)) :returning :void) 

Next create a vector of five raw integers for the function to fill in:

(setq myvec (make-array 5 :element-type '(unsigned-byte 32))) 

Now call the function with the vector followed by the number of elements in the vector

(GetWinMainArgs2 myvec (length myvec)) 

The vector now contains the following information

index value 0: The Windows instance handle of the lisp process

index value 1: The previous Windows instance handle (which is always zero).

index value 2: unused

index value 3: The Windows handle of the console window (if there is one).

index value 4: The Windows handle of the splash window. Normally the splash window is gone by the time the application starts up, but the +B command-line argument to mlisp.exe can cause the splash window to stay up longer. If this value is non-zero then the application is permitted to call the Windows function DestroyWindow() on it to make the splash window disappear. If this value is zero then the splash window is already gone.

11.0 Conformance with the ANSI specification

The following list describes the (mostly minor or obscure) known non-conformances of Allegro CL with the ANSI spec.

  1. file-length is documented to signal an error in safe code when the stream is not a stream associated with a file. Allegro CL extends file-lenght via simple-streams (see streams.htm)to include a value for string streams, which is the length of the string buffer - the same is true for buffer streams, where the file-length is the length (in octets) of the buffer. We feel this is preferrable because file-length and file-position are closely associated. If a stream can have a file-position, it can likely also have a length. The description of file-position was more careful to account for unanticipated situations at the time of the writing of the spec, and so we believe that the file-length description is too harsh.
  2. file-write-date returns nil when given a non-existent file as an argument (rather than signaling an error), which is arguably a non-conformance. See the discussion at Section 6.14 cl:file-write-date. There is no plan to change this behavior.
  3. declared-fixnums-remain-fixnums-switch, if true, allows code to be generated by the compiler which will produce the incorrect value when certain fixnums (those whose sum is a bignum) are added. Allowing incorrect values from fixnum addition under any circumstances is out of compliance with the ANSI specification. This compiler switch may be set to nil (thus removing any non-compliance) by evaluating (setf comp:declared-fixnums-remain-fixnums-switch nil).
  4. coerce of a sequence, as well as concatenate, map, make-sequence, and merge should signal an error if the new type specifier specifies a different length. Allegro CL presently ignores any length specifier on the new type, never signaling an error even in safe code.
  5. eval and compile are not permitted to copy and/or collapse "like" constants. The compile-file/load cycle is permitted to copy and/or collapse constants. Presently, constants in a file compilation are only collapsed within a single function. Constants are never copied in the evaluator, but Allegro CL's compile violates the no collapsing requirement.
  6. A lexical function or macro definition should prevent setf from using a global setf method. Allegro CL still uses the global definition. (Prior to the introduction of setf functions there was no way a correct program could demonstrate the problem.)
  7. multiple-value-setq of a variable with a symbol-macrolet definition operates on the expansion. Allegro CL's interpreter handles this correctly, but the compiler does not.
  8. Non-local exits from the cleanup forms of an unwind-protect that is in the process of unwinding another non-local exit. When a non-local exit (throw, return-from, or go) is being performed, cleanup forms of an intervening unwind-protect form may not transfer to any exit point between itself and the original target exit. Unfortunately, the ANSI spec leaves ambiguous certain details about transferring to exit points outside the original target. Allegro CL currently allows a non-local exit to be usurped by a cleanup form executing another transfer to an intervening exit point. Depending on the ANSI ambiguity, this is either a nonconformance or an extension upon which portable user code should not depend.
  9. The value of *macroexpand-hook* is coerced to type function before being called, and therefore may be a symbol, function, or lambda expression. Allegro CL has always permitted these but macros and symbol macros expanded directly by the compiler (and not indirectly by other macros) don't go through macroexpand-1 and consequently don't invoke *macroexpand-hook*. While the specification is somewhat ambiguous, this should probably be considered a bug.
  10. with-accessors, and with-slots should allow declarations, but in Allegro CL, do not.
  11. The scoping distinctions between pervasive and nonpervasive declarations has been removed. The scope of a declaration always contains the form body along with any "stepper" or "result" forms, but not in general "initialization" forms, e.g. in let binding clauses. If the declaration concerns a binding established by the form, then the declaration applies to the entire scope of the binding. The declaration may therefore include initialization forms in subsequent binding clauses of, for example, let*. Allegro CL does not yet implement this change, retaining CLtL-1 semantics. If made, it will be an incompatible change, although it is unlikely to affect significant amounts of user code.
  12. The floating point contagion rules for comparison operations. When float and rational numbers are to be compared, the float is converted to rational as if by the function rational, and then an exact comparison is performed. Allegro CL was changed in release 7.0 to do this. In earlier releases, the rational was coreced to be a float.
  13. Branch cuts for various mathematical functions to specify behavior at floating minus zero. It is difficult on most Allegro CL ports to generate minus zero, although the quantity can certainly be constructed by a foreign function. In any case, Allegro CL's branch cut behavior does not conform around minus zero.
  14. On an echo-stream, a character should be echoed only the first time it is returned by read-char, and never by peek-char. When a character is returned to the stream with unread-char, it is not unechoed, nor will it be reechoed when it is reread. Allegro CL's new stream implementation does not yet conform. An echo stream always transmits these function calls naively to its component streams.
  15. Allegro CL does not yet support the fourth positional argument to the ~D format directive and a fifth positional argument to the ~R format directive to specify the comma interval.
  16. The ~E format directive always prints a sign for the exponent portion of the number, whereas prin1 prints an exponent sign only if the exponent is negative. In Allegro CL prin1 always prints an exponent sign.
  17. Allegro CL ignores the :newest version specifier of a pathname and always forces it to be nil.
  18. In releases before 7.0, Allegro CL did not implement pathname case, and the :case keyword argument to the make-pathname, pathname-host, pathname-device, pathname-directory, pathname-name, and pathname-type was accepted but ignored. Now :case is no longer ignored. See *pathname-customary-case*.
  19. The definition of compile should permit a compiled function as the optional second argument but does not in Allegro CL.
  20. In Allegro CL, deftype forms are implicitly evaluated at compile time, making the result of the type definition available at compile time, changing the compiling lisp image inappropriately.
  21. Allegro CL does not support documentation for setf functions.
  22. Though calls to the step macro may be compiled in Allegro CL, compiled code will not correctly expand in the correct lexical environment.
  23. For macro-like defining forms such as defmacro, macrolet, define-setf-method, deftype, and define-compiler-macro, the lambda-list default initializer code should run outside the implicit named block established around the definition body but Allegro CL evaluates initializers inside the block.
  24. Allegro CL uses slot name variables as lambda list variables even though an automatically-generated defstruct keyword constructor function should not use and bind as its lambda list variables slot name symbols.
  25. An &environment variable that appears in a macro lambda list should be bound first before any of the other variables (making the binding visible to macroexpansions occurring in initialization forms elsewhere in the lambda list) but Allegro CL binds all variables in normal left-to-right order.
  26. With regard to lambda list congruence between the :arguments keyword argument to define-method-combination and the actual lambda list of a generic function to which the method combination applies, Allegro CL essentially appends an ignored &rest argument to the lambda list, preventing errors from being signaled, but not correctly handling optional/key argument bindings and default value forms.
  27. Allegro CL prints slot names in the keyword package though this behavior is deprecated.
  28. Allegro CL does not permit the type indicator to be omitted for declarations of the form (declare (type foo x)) for any symbol naming a type (Allegro CL does permit it for many predefined types). Thus (declare (foo x)) is not valid in Allegro CL.
  29. Allegro CL does not handle nested dribble's correctly, presently forgeting about the previous dribble, without even closing it.
  30. In Allegro CL, calling a &key function with :allow-other-keys nil signals an error, and it should not.
  31. In Allegro CL, call-next-method with changed arguments does not check that the set of applicable methods has not changed, though it should in safe (safety=3) code.
  32. When butlast is passed a negative second argument, an error should be signaled but Allegro CL never signals this error and silently treats the value as zero.
  33. In Allegro CL compiler macros are not invoked using *macroexpand-hook* and instead are called using funcall directly. Further, in Allegro CL compiler macros cannot be invoked on forms such as (funcall #'name ...). define-compiler-macro should be responsible for transparently accommodating the argument destructuring for this case but does not in Allegro CL.
  34. With regard to the documentation function, there should be a documentation type compiler-macro; and documentation for a defstruct should be able to be accessed as a class object, just as for defclass, but does not in Allegro CL.
  35. In symbol-macrolet, a type declaration on a symbol-macrolet variable should be equivalent to wrapping every reference to the variable in an appropriate the clause. The expansion should not literally include the the form, but the effect of the type declaration may be effectuated by the compiler by some other means. Allegro CL does not conform, and the expansion of a symbol-macrolet variable with a type declaration includes a the form.
  36. A symbol-macrolet definition of a variable may not shadow a global special declaration of that variable name, or for keyword symbols. symbol-macrolet should signal an error. In Allegro CL, it does not.
  37. A the form should return exactly the values returned by evaluation of its second subform. It should not be an error if more values are returned than the first subform specifies, and if fewer values are returned than the first subform specifies, the missing values are treated as nil for purposes of type checking. In Allegro CL in interpreted code, an error is signalled unless a the form agrees exactly with both the number and types of the returned values. However, in compiled code, it does not check values returned through a the form (although the type declaration may be used for code optimization) and therefore complies.
  38. Allegro signals error (and it should not) if a compiled function is given to compile. Allegro will correctly compile interpreted functions defined in a non-null lexical environment, and will additionally correctly handle references to closed-over variables. However, it improperly issues a warning when it does so.
  39. (SETF (APPLY #'FOO ...) V) should expand to the approximate equivalent (APPLY #'(SETF FOO) V ...) except that the order of evaluation of the original subforms shall be preserved. However, Allegro CL expands setf of apply according to the CLTL-1 specification.
  40. Allegro CL retains certain CLtL2 specifications of the documentation function.

Copyright (c) 1998-2019, Franz Inc. Oakland, CA., USA. All rights reserved.
This page has had moderate revisions compared to the 8.2 page.
Created 2019.8.20.

Allegro CL version 9.0
Moderately revised from 8.2.
8.2 version