Richard O'Keefe <>
Fri Nov 20 05:08:26 CET 2009

BERT is a nice idea, but there's one thing I learned to be very scared
of when working on Prolog implementations:  reserved atoms.  (Anyone
who knows what numbervars/3 does will know the trouble caused by  

Instead of the specification saying that library writers
should just make sure that 'bert' never turns up as the first element
of a tuple, it should say that {bert,bert} decodes as 'bert', and ask
library writers to always represent 'bert' as {bert,bert}.

I mention it here because I've found the rule "make life simpler for
users of an encoding even if it makes life harder for the encoder"
a good one.

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