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More time is needed for discussion, so the formation of a Scheme
standardization working group will NOT be proposed at the MSC meeting
this month.

We should continue the debate what would be a good time to start a
standardization effort and how it would be best to proceed.
Historically, it seems that every language that obtains a reasonably
large user community is eventually standardized (usually over the
objections of its designers and implementers).  Since the Scheme
community is growing rather rapidly, it is just a matter of time
before some part of the user community initiates standardization.  So
the question is WHEN, not WHETHER, it would be best to untertake

Perhaps there are sound technical reasons for a substantial delay (say
a year or more).  If so, I would like to hear them.  However, my
impression from last summer's meeting is that almost all of what we
have now is relatively stable, and the new features we would like to
consider adding (macros, modules, etc.) are all very much in the
design stage.  It will likely take at least a year (probably two or
more) to refine these proposals and get them widely implemented, and
another year of experience with them before we can be sure we like
them.  Only then (2 or 3 years hence) would it seem likely that major
new features should be candidates for standardization.  

I believe the advantages of moving relatively soon to standardize
approximately what we have now outweigh the disadvantages of waiting
that long.  Admittedly this judgment is based on weighing the
importance of a number of nontechnical considerations. Thus it is
impossible for me to be sure this is right, much less make a
definitive argument in its favor.  In this respect especially, we need
feedback from all segments of the Scheme community (not just its
designers and implementers).

It is vital that standardization not impede the development of new
features and improved implementations, but I do not see why it should
(other than taking the time of some individuals who would be involved
in both).  Again, if anyone has technical grounds for casting
reasonable doubt on this judgment, please speak up.

I'm leaving town again for a couple of weeks.  I'll respond to many
of the comments received thus far when I return.

Chris Haynes