A reader-macro way to create non-destructive nicknames within portable Common Lisp
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pseudonyms

A reader-macro way to create non-destructive nicknames within portable Common Lisp

I found that Lisp nicknames, as defined in CLHS, have a few problems that I will count here.

  • 1) They are not changeable without internal side-effects. RENAME-PACKAGE is destructive, as it kills off any previous names the package.
  • 2) They collide. Nickname GL is used by at least three different Lisp packages.

The solution I provide here is a different approach to nicknames that does not use any of the original nickname code, as defined in CLHS.

To begin quickly:

> (pseudonyms:pseudonyms-on)

Pseudonyms, in opposition to nicknames, can be defined by the user inside one’s code, like this:

> (defpseudonym :longpackagename "lpn")

And removed like this:

> (pmakunbound "lpn") ;; OR (pmakunbound :longpackagename)

From within the code, one can refer to a pseudonymized package this way:

> $lpn:something

A reader macro will automatically translate it to its normal version of longpackagename:something. This is usable both within the REPL and within usual code.

The reader macro character is also settable from the default #\$:

> (set-pseudonym-macro-character #\^)

All pseudonyms are local to the current package: for instance, pseudonyms defined within CL-USER are not usable anywhere outside the CL-USER package.

An utility function print-pseudonyms will print all pseudonyms for a given package. If not supplied a package name as an argument, it will print all pseudonyms for current package (as shown by the *package* global variable).