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Notation Conventions

VLS commands are presented using the following form

Command: command-name Keys: key-sequence Action: description

where the user can execute the command with M-x command-name or with the default key sequence key-sequence. And description is a description of what the command does. Most of these commands are covered in the Vanilla Commands chapter, See section Vanilla Commands.

Some VLS commands will have a universal action that has the same description for all Lisp types but more specific meanings or specific meanings for prefix arguments for a particular Lisp type. These are covered under the specific Lisp section under Other Flavored Commands, See section Other Flavored Commands. These specific descriptions are meant to augment the universal command form above using the specific form

Command: command-name Lisp Type Specific Actions: description

where description in this case describes the specific Lisp actions of command-name.

At a few points in this document we refer to the operating system variables $LISPDIR and $VLSLIBDIR. Please note that these variables are not set up by VLS or required to be set up by the user. They are only used in this document to designate two important directories.

The variable $LISPDIR designates the directory where the VLS program has been installed. And the variable $VLSLIBDIR designates the directory where the VLS types directory is stored. For example the default designated values for these under Unix are

LISPDIR = /usr/local/share/emacs/site-lisp
VLSLIBDIR = /usr/local/lib/vls

All Lisps have the concept of nil, more or less. Common Lisp does in fact were nil means a constant symbol denoting false, the empty list and is interpreted as the end of a list in a cons that has a cdr of nil. Some Lisps do not have the concept of nil by default. Scheme for example does not. In Scheme the closest thing to nil is the constant #f and the empty list. When nil is used in this document, regardless of the Lisp type, please substitute the obvious meaning. Unfortunately it would have been too tedious to use a specific Lisp meanings in all places where nil occurs in VLS documents and Elisp commands.


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