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6.1. Why Have Extensions

Why do we need extensions? Well, there are a number of reasons,
although not all of these are very good reasons:

    Adaptations to new environments may require new functionality
  in order to easily interface to the operating system.

    Extending the language with more power, to facilitate
  programming.

    Sometimes, a lot of time can be saved if certain assumptions
  are met, so an extension might be implemented to allow programmers
  to take shortcuts.

    When a program is ported from one platform to another, parts
  of the code may depend of non-standard features not available on
  the platform being ported to. In this situation, the availability
  of extensions that implement the feature may be of great help to
  the programmer.

    The implementor had some good idea during development.

Extensions arise from holes in the functionality. Whether they
will survive or not depends on how they are perceived by
programmers; if perceived as useful, they will probably be used
and thus supported in more interpreters.




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