Yeah, I should have explained more. I'd planned the results to be in the form:
((row col) (row col) (row col) ...)
Your version works just as well :) but the variable names might make a little more sense this way.
a) (o queens) means that queens is an optional argument. If I don't pass in a value it's nil by default. I could also have given it an explicit default by saying (o queens 42). You can read more about this in the tutorial: http://www.arclanguage.org/tut.txt. Worth a reread if it's been a while.
b) queens.0.0 expands to ((queens 0) 0). Which is the same as (car (car queens)). Just a quick way to pull out the first row, the row of the most recently added queen (since I'm adding queens on the left using cons).
c) col is just a variable name for the column in the above representation of queens. But perhaps you were asking about up. Try this out at your Anarki prompt:
arc> (help up) ; only in Anarki
arc> (up col 0 8 (prn col))
d) some takes a predicate (function) and a list, and returns true if any of the elements of the list is satisfied by the predicate (function returns true). Check out (help some), as well as the tutorial above. One twist is that you can pass in any number/character/boolean as a predicate, and it's as if you're comparing with it. So I'm asking "have we already seen this column?" in this line:
(some curr-column (map [_ 1] rest))
e) Yes, no is like ~ though not quite the same. It's just simple boolean negation. (no nil) is t, no on anything else is nil. ~ (complement) is slightly different, it operates on functions and makes them return their negation. So this relation always holds:
(no f.x) <=> (~f x)
I could have written (no conflicts.new-queens) as (~conflicts new-queens).