17.10 Rlisp ’88

Rlisp ’88 is a superset of the Rlisp that has been traditionally used for the support of REDUCE. It is fully documented in the book Marti, J.B., “RLISP ’88: An Evolutionary Approach to Program Design and Reuse”, World Scientific, Singapore (1993). Rlisp ’88 adds to the traditional Rlisp the following facilities:

  1. more general versions of the looping constructs for, repeat and while;
  2. support for a backquote construct;
  3. support for active comments;
  4. support for vectors of the form name[index];
  5. support for simple structures;
  6. support for records.

In addition, “-” is a letter in Rlisp ’88. In other words, A-B is an identifier, not the difference of the identifiers A and B. If the latter construct is required, it is necessary to put spaces around the - character. For compatibility between the two versions of Rlisp, we recommend this convention be used in all symbolic mode programs.

To use Rlisp ’88, type on rlisp88;. This switches to symbolic mode with the Rlisp ’88 syntax and extensions. While in this environment, it is impossible to switch to algebraic mode, or prefix expressions by “algebraic”. However, symbolic mode programs written in Rlisp ’88 may be run in algebraic mode provided the rlisp88 package has been loaded. We also expect that many of the extensions defined in Rlisp ’88 will migrate to the basic Rlisp over time. To return to traditional Rlisp or to switch to algebraic mode, say “off rlisp88;”.