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

Alexander Repenning ralex at cs.colorado.edu
Fri Sep 11 15:14:19 UTC 2009

On Sep 10, 2009, at 9:49 AM, Daniel Weinreb wrote:

>> The OpenGL examples in PLTscheme are downright embarrassing.
>> One can speculate why Scheme is is loosing ground. I am guessing it  
>> has more to do with actual functionality, e.g., continuations  
>> really are not a substitute for OOP, than with syntax.
> I don't know that it's losing ground.  If you mean MIT's
> freshman core curriculum, the reason for the change
> is nothing like that; see my blog writeup at

As far as I can tell the the reason implied in the interview does  
match the general observation that students do not pay too much  
attention to theoretical concerns but are interested in the concrete  
aspects of programming. Students want to work on personally meaningful  
projects and, typically, not to explore interesting theoretical  
tidbits. Are continuations conceptually as powerful as, say, OOP in  
CL? Most students simply do not care. Can they hack an app for their  
phone, or make a 3D game? Completely different story. Send a student  
to explore something like PLTscheme and have them run the OpenGL  
examples. Seeing that it can barely handle OpenGL 1.0 students will  
file that experience in the same fun category of playing with punch  
cards and core memory.

All the best,  Alex

Prof. Alexander Repenning

University of Colorado
Computer Science Department
Boulder, CO 80309-430

vCard: http://www.cs.colorado.edu/~ralex/AlexanderRepenning.vcf

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