1.2 Notational conventions and syntax

1.2.1 Functions and generic functions

Function and generic function names appear in fixed-width font (assoc) at the beginning of the syntactic description.

Some functions have parameters. A parameter is a symbol whose value is determined by the arguments that you supply when you invoke the function. In the syntactic descriptions, the required parameters follow the function name, and they appear in italics (item).

An optional parameter is one that is not required for the function to work properly. It is indicated by the symbol&optional preceding the optional parameters.

A function that has an unspecified number of arguments uses a rest parameter, which is indicated by the symbol&rest.

The symbol&key precedes any keyword that the function accepts; keywords are symbols preceded by a colon (:test,:test-not, and so forth). You can specify keyword-value pairs in any order in the argument list.

To call a function, type the function name and arguments, except for keyword arguments, in the order shown in the syntactic description. You can type the arguments on several lines, since carriage returns and linefeeds do not have any special meaning to the Lisp reader.

assoc item a-list&key :test :test-not :key Function

describe-object object stream Generic Function

The Advanced User's Guide - 9 SEP 1996

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