Yes, these are good points, and that's why I have pushed an update to the manual. Please have a look at the "The defsystem grammar" ASDF manual page here:

Only the first four entries have changed.

Please also have a look at the subsections immediately below: 6.3.1, 6.3.2, and 6.3.3.

I would welcome any comments you (or anyone receiving this message -- the more the merrier!) have. The previous discussion was not as clear as it should have been.

The manual could definitely use an extensive overhaul, but this band-aid is well better than nothing.

Best regards,

On 19 Feb 2019, at 13:30, Robert Dodier wrote:

On Sun, Feb 17, 2019 at 4:08 PM Robert Goldman <> wrote:

It's actually there, at least if you are looking for it.

In my own defense: I did look for it and I did find that text, but
didn't find it helpful. It says the name of a system is conventionally
lowercase -- this is not the same as saying that it is required to be

I found the text about pathname specifiers as well. I didn't see a
requirement there because neither the system name nor component names
were specified by the grammar or the commentary on the grammar to be
pathname specifiers.

Thanks again for your help,
Robert Dodier

Robert P. Goldman
Research Fellow
Smart Information Flow Technologies (d/b/a SIFT, LLC)

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