Another problem can happen if the macro definition itself
evaluates any of the macro argument expressions, such as by calling
eval (see Eval). You have to take into account that macro
expansion may take place long before the code is executed, when the
context of the caller (where the macro expansion will be evaluated) is
not yet accessible.
Also, if your macro definition does not use
formal arguments may hide the user’s variables of the same name. Inside
the macro body, the macro argument binding is the most local binding of
such variable, so any references inside the form being evaluated do refer
to it. Here is an example:
(defmacro foo (a) (list 'setq (eval a) t))
(setq x 'b) (foo x) → (setq b t) ⇒ t ; and
bhas been set. ;; but (setq a 'c) (foo a) → (setq a t) ⇒ t ; but this set
It makes a difference whether the user’s variable is named
a conflicts with the macro argument variable
Also, the expansion of
(foo x) above will return something
different or signal an error when the code is compiled, since in that case
(foo x) is expanded during compilation, whereas the execution of
(setq x 'b) will only take place later when the code is executed.
To avoid these problems, don’t evaluate an argument expression while computing the macro expansion. Instead, substitute the expression into the macro expansion, so that its value will be computed as part of executing the expansion. This is how the other examples in this chapter work.