Make foo/bar/baz unreadable


Currently keywords and symbols containing more than one slash are disallowed by the spec, but allowed by the readers.
This trivial patch makes them unreadable by the readers too.






March 31, 2016, 3:23 PM

Comment made by: zcaudate

I'll quote Rich @ 5:10

"Many of the things you consider to be problems (with lisp) are features... down the line..."

March 31, 2016, 2:58 PM

Comment made by: zcaudate

I disagree on the "specialness" of `/` in keywords, especially if it is allowed as a string.

This leads to another problem in the ambiguity of output:

user=> (keyword "foo" "bar/baz")

user=> (keyword nil "foo/bar/baz")

Unless the output is displayed as :foo//bar/baz, it is unclear where the namespace is and the concept of `code is data` will be diminished if the output cannot be read back as data.

There is also the case for symbol:
user=> (symbol "foo/bar/baz")

well... at least all the examples listed are all consistently "illegal"

Anyways, even if the docs had not explicitly stated such, :foo/bar/baz has existed since the beginning of clojure and personally, it seems to be more string-like than symbol-like. Ironically, I'm pretty sure that I got the idea of using multiple slashes in keywords from reading the datomic documentation from back when I started work on adi.

Ultimately, the decision is not mine to make and I do value the guidance of clojure team over the development of the language. I do however, hope that my points for keeping things as they are can be recognised and be taken into consideration.

Alex Miller
March 31, 2016, 1:00 AM

The reader page clearly states "'/' has special meaning, it can be used once in the middle of a symbol to separate the namespace from the name" and keywords are "like symbols". This has been on the reader page since the oldest version I can find in the internet archive (July 2008). edn (despite its similarities) is a separate thing than Clojure, and irrelevant.

The 2-arity form of keyword can be used without ambiguity: (keyword nil "foo/bar/baz"). The 1-arity form will split based on the first / found (in this example into "foo" and "bar/baz"). I see no reason that would need to change.

March 31, 2016, 12:15 AM

Comment made by: zcaudate


  • I wouldn't necessarily call it `illegal` as the current behavior in the edn.reader was added in 1.6 without warning.

  • Also, if (keyword "foo/bar/baz") is allowed to exist, then there still would be the indeterminate namespace/name problem that @bronsa highlighted. I would argue for consistency and if :foo/bar/baz is illegal in the reader, then it should be illegal everywhere

  • My library should be fine... but users of the library may have to change their queries

Alex Miller
March 30, 2016, 2:55 PM

Chris -

  • (keyword "foo/bar/baz") will still be fine. Programmatic keywords can be created for any string - this is intentionally much broader than what the reader supports as a literal in code and it's a feature that's widely used. At some future point, there may be an escaping mechanism for symbols or keywords with characters outside the spec such that the reader could read them as well, but that's outside the scope of this.

  • Your api is using illegal keywords according to and you should not expect them to work. I think you should change your library.

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Nicola Mometto





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