Hi Axel,

> I implemented a reader that aims to mimic the behaviour of the builtin
> (read). The purpose is to provide a starting point for those who need

Cool! Nice work! This looks indeed useful.

> one. Alpha stage, comments welcome!

Except for my usual complaints about naming conventions (just some
variables like 'k', 'body' or 'a'), it looks very good.

Concerning the questions at the end:

   #Is there a better way to get an external symbol by name?
   # (extern) only works when the symbol exists, while (read)
   # can read symbols that doesn't yet exist.

That's true. 'extern' requires the symbol to exist in the currently open
database (though not necessarily in memory).

One possibility would be to use 'id', which doesn't have that
restriction. Another advantage of 'id' is that it doesn't depend on the
printed representation, i.e. you have on pil32

   : (id 3 7)
   -> {3-7}

   : (id 123 4567)
   -> {1v-17L}

while on pil64 the same symbols are

   : (id 3 7)
   -> {B7}

   : (id 123 4567)
   -> {GJ10727}

- Alex
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