Sugar unrelated to macros -- Was: Re: Sugar

Dave Herman dherman at
Thu Aug 28 19:08:52 PDT 2008

> *Lack* of hygiene is a problem. My statement in reply to Ingvar's  
> citing "problems" with macro systems was that, if he meant by  
> "problems" anything like "implementing hygienic macros", then  
> building such systems is a solved problem for certain languages --  
> albeit without complete formalization in theory. This is not to say  
> hygiene being supported in Scheme transfers to JS, of course.

My mistake; I see what you're saying.

I might not go so far as to say designing and implementing hygienic 
macros is a /solved/ problem (there's a wide design space) but I do 
think it's acquired too much mystique. In some ways, what I'm hoping to 
do with my research is demystify hygiene.

> Ingvar's sugar proposal seems free of capture problems, at a glance,  

Yes, I believe it doesn't have capture problems.

> even if sugar definitions nest. But a more complete proposal would be  
> needed to be sure. I was making a few assumptions from the examples.

Agreed, especially Re: the effects it would have on the parser.


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