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  ANSI Common Lisp   7 Objects   7.1 Object Creation and Initialization

7.1.4 Rules for Initialization Arguments

The :initarg slot option may be specified more than once for a given slot.

The following rules specify when initialization arguments may be multiply defined:

  • A given initialization argument can be used to initialize more than one slot if the same initialization argument name appears in more than one :initarg slot option.

  • A given initialization argument name can appear in the lambda list of more than one initialization method.

  • A given initialization argument name can appear both in an :initarg slot option and in the lambda list of an initialization method.

If two or more initialization arguments that initialize the same slot are given in the arguments to make-instance, the leftmost of these initialization arguments in the initialization argument list supplies the value, even if the initialization arguments have different names.

If two or more different initialization arguments that initialize the same slot have default values and none is given explicitly in the arguments to make-instance, the initialization argument that appears in a :default-initargs class option in the most specific of the classes supplies the value. If a single :default-initargs class option specifies two or more initialization arguments that initialize the same slot and none is given explicitly in the arguments to make-instance, the leftmost in the :default-initargs class option supplies the value, and the values of the remaining default value forms are ignored.

Initialization arguments given explicitly in the arguments to make-instance appear to the left of defaulted initialization arguments. Suppose that the classes C1 and C2 supply the values of defaulted initialization arguments for different slots, and suppose that C1 is more specific than C2; then the defaulted initialization argument whose value is supplied by C1 is to the left of the defaulted initialization argument whose value is supplied by C2 in the defaulted initialization argument list. If a single :default-initargs class option supplies the values of initialization arguments for two different slots, the initialization argument whose value is specified farther to the left in the :default-initargs class option appears farther to the left in the defaulted initialization argument list.

If a slot has both an :initform form and an :initarg slot option, and the initialization argument is defaulted using :default-initargs or is supplied to make-instance, the captured :initform form is neither used nor evaluated.

The following is an example of the above rules:

 (defclass q () ((x :initarg a)))
 (defclass r (q) ((x :initarg b))
   (:default-initargs a 1 b 2))

Form

Defaulted
Initialisation Argument List


Contents of Slot X

(make-instance 'r)
(a 1 b 2)
1
(make-instance 'r 'a 3)
(a 3 b 2)
3
(make-instance 'r 'b 4)
(b 4 a 1)
4
(make-instance 'r 'a 1 'a 2)
(a 1 a 2 b 2)
1

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