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COMMON STUMBLING BLOCKS 51 CL-USER(19): (eql a1 a2) T EQL compares actual pointers or integers — A1 and A2 both point to the same symbol in the same part of memory. CL-USER(20): (setq b1 "bbb") "bbb" CL-USER(21): (setq b2 "bbb") "bbb" CL-USER(22): (eql b1 b2) NIL CL-USER(23): (string-equal b1 b2) T Again, EQL compares pointers, but here B1 and B2 point to different memory addresses, although those addresses happen to contain the same string. Therefore the comparison by string-equal, which compares strings character-by-character, rather than the pointers to those strings, returns T.

Because this assignment section is not evaluated by the let macro, it does not have to be quoted, like a list which is an argument to a function would have to be. As you can see, the assignment section is a list of lists, where each internal list is a pair whose first is a symbol, and whose second is a value (which will be evaluated). These symbols (a and b) are the local variables, and they are assigned to the respective values. The body consists of any number of expressions which come after the assignment section and before the closing parenthesis of the let statement.

Terminal-io* is bound to the console (command prompt) window, and by default this is identical to both *standard-input* and *standard-output*. 1 Read Read is the standard mechanism for reading data items into CL. Read takes a single optional argument for its stream, and reads a single data item from that stream. The default for the stream is *standard-input*. If you simply type (read) at the command prompt, CL will wait for you to enter some valid Lisp item, and will return this item. Read simply reads, it does not evaluate, so there is no need to quote the data being read.

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