[Openmcl-devel] Scheme vs. Lisp [was A plug for nx1-combination-hook]

Brian Mastenbrook brian at mastenbrook.net
Thu Sep 10 16:16:53 UTC 2009

On Sep 10, 2009, at 10:49 AM, Daniel Weinreb wrote:

> Really?  I haven't had a chance to play with DrScheme, but my sense
> has been that it has some great IDE stuff that I have not seen
> anywhere else.
> The guys at Brown, Rice, and Northeastern have done great
> things with Scheme.
> There are a lot of problems with Scheme for doing real-world
> programming, and the new directions in R6RS are problematic.
> But I would not write it off.

This is mostly OT, but for those who are interested:

The R7RS process is gearing up, and there's been a huge amount of  
discussion on the r6rs-discuss mailing list (http://lists.r6rs.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/r6rs-discuss 
) about where things should go from here. The steering committee (http://scheme-reports.org/ 
) has ordained that there are going to be two working groups this time  
'round, with WG1 producing a "core Scheme" document in the R5RS mold,  
and the WG2 committee standardizing a "large Scheme" going further  
than the R6RS.

My personal opinion is that the changes in the R6RS were a mixed bag  
overall, but not disastrous, and that it is possible to extend the  
work of the R6RS committee while cleaning up some of the more  
controversial and "ugly" sections of the report, while still  
maintaining compatibility with libraries written to the R6RS. In the  
next few days I'll put together a "position statement" of my own on  
how I think this can be done in a way that keeps the two Scheme  
languages consistent and helps to further unify the community. I'm  
very interested in engaging the process from the perspective of  
someone who has written a substantial amount of Common Lisp code and  
is familiar with what works - and does not work - in writing cross- 
implementation programs of a practical nature. I'd encourage other  
Scheme-minded CL users to do so as well.

The current use of CPS transformers in Common Lisp web application  
frameworks *ought* to be seen as an indictment of the shape of things  
in the Scheme community. If programmers searching for Scheme wind up  
implementing it on Common Lisp, what does that say about the state of  
Scheme implementations?

Brian Mastenbrook
brian at mastenbrook.net

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