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towards an agenda
I had hoped to propose an agenda here, but I tripped over too many
unknowns, so let's try to nail a few things down first.
Is there agreement on which days we will meet? Jonathan, can you
suggest which hours of the day will be available for scheduling?
Can everyone arrange to attend?
Will and I suggested the following topics that we would like to see
1. multiple return values
2. customizable reader
3. number syntax and exactness
5. optional arguments
6. structures and opaque objects (& set!, maybe)
7. environments and modules
These are roughly in descending order of priority as we see it. We
already have proposals for 1, 4, and 5. Will hopes to cover 2 soon.
I suggested a more Common Lisp-like number syntax last year, so I'll
plan to clean that up and propose it again. Kent Dybvig's book
contains some language about exactness that I'd like to comprehend in
my proposal. Chez Scheme and TI Scheme (and perhaps others) have
somewhat contradictory define-structure features, so it would be nice
to head off further divergence in that area.
Although topic 7, environments and modules, is last on the list, I see
it as having long-term impact on whether Scheme continues to be used
for ever larger and larger "production" systems. "Programming in the
large" is a serious challenge for everyone looking to Lisp dialects
for new programming paradigms right now, and I'd like to find a way to
give Scheme an edge over other languages.
Other topics were suggested at the 1986 Lisp conference luncheon, e.g.
a way to declare that a variable such as CAR is never assigned. Would
anyone care to propose any of them for discussion at our next meeting?