OK, I think I understand now. This happens when we need quicklisp not just to load, but to install and load, defsystem depends on systems.

I just looked at Robert Dodier's bug fix, https://github.com/quicklisp/quicklisp-client/pull/128/ and I'm a little concerned that it could raise an error if `asdf::missing-requires` isn't implemented on the error condition that is signaled by ASDF (and I don't see why it would be guaranteed to be implemented there). Shouldn't this check the type of `(asdf::error-condition c)`? Or if there's something about the conditions under which this handler is invoked that guarantees that the call to `missing-requires` will not error out, I don't see it, so it's probably worthy of a comment.

My guess is that if you checked for the `error-condition` being a subtype of `missing-component` that would work in modern ASDF. I have no idea whether it would work in ASDF 2 and I'm afraid that I don't have the time for the ASDF archaeology required to figure out how to "past-proof" this code.


On 6 Apr 2018, at 4:20, Mark Evenson wrote:

On Apr 2, 2018, at 18:23, Robert Goldman <rpgold...@sift.info> wrote:

On 1 Apr 2018, at 7:57, Mark Evenson wrote:

On Apr 1, 2018, at 14:20, Attila Lendvai att...@lendvai.name wrote:

The usage of DEFSYSTEM-DEPENDS-ON to specify dependencies that will be satisfied by QL:QUICKLOAD no longer seems to be working in asdf-3.3.1.

FTR, here's the history of this issue:



Wow! Holy stale complications, batman!

Robert apparently suggested something (apparently) much simpler in


but without any commentary from Zach on that approach.

Given asdf-3.3 is out, and recent sbcl’s ship with it, which is the preferred way forward from ASDF’s perspective?

"From ASDF's perspective," this is all new to me, since it was filed as a bug against Quicklisp, and as far as I know, never raised as an issue for ASDF. I could use some help here:

        • What's a minimal error case using quickload alone?
• What's a minimal case that arises with using ASDF as the entry point? It seemed like there was one where if Quicklisp is up and running, and you use asdf:load-system to load a system, this can also happen. Something I can type into a REPL verbatim is what I would like to see.

Not sure how to distinguish between your two requests for quickload alone versus ASDF as an entry point

A minimal case would be the following ASDF definition


(defsystem depends
  :in-order-to ((test-op (test-op "depends/t"))))

(defsystem depends/t
  :defsystem-depends-on (prove-asdf)
  :depends-on (prove)
  :components ((:test-file "depends-test.lisp")))


(in-package :cl-user)
(prove:plan 1)
(prove:pass "A test that always passes")


(ql:quickload :depends) should pick up the depends/t secondary system to install PROVE from the network, which is needed to provide a CLOS for the TEST-FILE component.

Component "prove-asdf" not found, required by NIL

For ASDF3 alone, as long as PROVE is installed, there is no problem.

Also, sounds like though this is an issue on all lisps, not just ABCL as the first post suggested

Yes, this issue effects all Common Lisp implementations. I don’t think I even mentioned ABCL in my first message, so other than being an ABCL maintainer, I don’t see how you got that impression.

Communications between ASDF and QL have been difficult since Zach dropped off this list (and, to be fair, I have never joined up to read quicklisp-devel, if there is such a thing).

Yes, we are certainly dealing with the resistance of Quicklisp to deprecate ASDF2 in favor of ASDF3, for which I neither really know nor want to go into the history thereof. Rather than pointing fingers, and spreading blame, I am trying to find some compromise that works for both the ASDF and Quicklisp maintainers, as without getting ql:quickload to somehow include :defsystem-depends-on declarations as recognized load dependencies in the currently stable ASDF3, it means this useful feature for ASDF extensiblity is effectively unusable for inter-system cooperation within Quicklisp.

In the January 2018 Quicklisp systems, there are 103 references to prove-asdf, so this issue effects quite a bit of the current Quicklisp distributed ecosystem for that use case alone.

As I read the Quicklisp issues and pull-requests, Quicklisp would be willing to accept a “minimally invasive” patch if it would support asdf-2.26 as well as ASDF3.

So, to put things more succintly, given the choice between Quicklisp pulls [122][] or [128][], and given that we have advanced to asdf-3.3.1 since these requests were issued, what would be the preferred manner to patch Quicklisp that would be the most forward-looking for future ASDF3 compatibility so that Quicklisp might continue to work with :DEFSYSTEM-DEPENDS-ON clauses like it used to?

[122]: https://github.com/quicklisp/quicklisp-client/pull/122
[128]: https://github.com/quicklisp/quicklisp-client/pull/128

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