The quote special form should throw an exception if passed more than one form to quote


  • Type: Enhancement Enhancement
  • Status: Closed Closed
  • Priority: Major Major
  • Resolution: Completed
  • Affects Version/s: Release 1.5
  • Fix Version/s: Release 1.8
  • Component/s: None
  • Labels:
  • Patch:
    Code and Test
  • Approval:


Quote currently ignores all but the first argument. In the case of being called accidentally with multiple values, it should throw an exception specifying the error.

user> (quote 1 2 3)

Approach: Make calling quote with 0 or >1 args throw an exception.

Patch: CLJ-1282-p2.patch

Screened by: Alex Miller

------- Original: --------

Every once in a while, you can just go down the rabbit hole.

I had an errant expression in my code:

(-> message get-message-values 'DESTINATION_MERCHANT_ID)

One would think this would work; it certainly would if the key was a keyword and not a symbol.

One would expect this to expand to:

('DESTINATION_MERCHANT_ID (get-message-values message))

however, the reader is involved, so it is as if the source were:

(-> message get-message-values (quote DESTINATION_MERCHANT_ID))

which expands to:

(quote (-> message get-message-values) DESTINATION_MERCHANT_ID))

... hilarity ensues! Because quote currently ignores extra parameters, my code gets the quoted value '(clojure.core/-> message get-message-values) rather than the expected string from the map; this shifts us from the "there's a bug in my code" to "the nature of reality is broken".

The correct expression is:

(-> message get-message-values (get 'DESTINATION_MERCHANT_ID))

This took quite a while to track down; if the

special form checked that it was passed exactly one form to quote and threw an exception otherwise, I think I would have caught this much earlier. It could even identify the expression it is quoting, which would provide a lot better understanding of where I went wrong.

  1. CLJ-1282-p1.patch
    09/Dec/13 9:32 AM
    2 kB
    Gary Fredericks
  2. CLJ-1282-p2.patch
    01/Feb/14 9:58 AM
    2 kB
    Gary Fredericks



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