CHAPTER 20The Special Operators

In a way, the most impressive aspect of the condition system covered in the previous chapter is that if it wasn't already part of the language, it could be written entirely as a user-level library. This is possible because Common Lisp's special operators—while none touches directly on signaling or handling conditions—provide enough access to the underlying machinery of the language to be able to do things such as control the unwinding of the stack.

In previous chapters I've discussed the most frequently used special operators, but it's worth being familiar with the others for two reasons. First, some of the infrequently used special operators are used infrequently simply because whatever need they address doesn't ...

Get Practical Common Lisp now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.