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forwarded message from Dick Gabriel
This is a message about Scheme standardization that was mailed to a
new people a few days ago. I think it needs to be mroe widely seen.
Please send comments to all RRRS-AUTHORS
>From RPG@SAIL.Stanford.EDU Sat Jan 30 14:32:10 1988
Date: 30 Jan 88 1034 PST
From: Dick Gabriel <RPG@SAIL.Stanford.EDU>
Subject: Proposal to Handle All Possible Decisions on Scheme Standardization
<HAl, I have not seen any reaction to my message, could you forward any?
I am on RRRS-AUTHORS.>
Gentlemen. I have talked with Bob Mathis regarding the standardization
of Scheme, and he and I agreed on the following remarks and suggestions.
1. To the outside world, Lisp and Scheme are not distinguishable. To
have separate technical working groups for them is not a sensible
situation, especially within 2 separate organizations.
2. ANSI recognizes X3J13 as the technical working group for Lisp in
the US. Therefore, an IEEE effort would have no standing or voice in
any ISO work relating to Lisp, which is regarded as including dialects
such as Scheme.
We understand that there is some anxiety about whether to standardize
Scheme, and if so on what schedule. We are in a position to suggest
several alternatives to you:
3. We can establish a subcommittee within X3J13 for Scheme under the
current X3J13 charter. That subcommittee can work at its own speed on
activities relating to Scheme. Whether that subcommittee ever reported
anything out would be up to it.
4. We can also broaden the charter of X3J13 to specifically include Scheme. A
committee or subcommittee on Scheme could be established with its own time
This would accomplish several things for you:
5. You would have a vehicle for standardizing Scheme if and when you
choose. There would be no pressure regarding your decision on this matter.
That is, this can be a vehicle to prevent standardization without your
consent, and it can also be a vehicle for standardization when you
feel like it is appropriate.
6. You would have a voice and standing within any ISO process concerning
Lisp in which you were interested.
7. Any renegade IEEE efforts towards standardizing Scheme would be
officially disallowed through a petition from SPARC to IEEE.
8. The Common Lisp community could be exposed to the Scheme community
and vice versa, bringing benefits to both communities.
9. A rational approach within ISO towards Lisp could be more easily
achieved if the Scheme community was officially represented. We would not
be in a position of the US appearing to be completely Common-Lisp-oriented.
I sent this note to a smaller group than RRRS Authors in order to
keep the discussion among the leaders. Please feel free to distribute this
to people whom I have overlooked.
In order for Bob Mathis and me to file the petition from SPARC to IEEE, a
positive response from the Scheme community is needed. If you decide
for or against this proposal, please let us know.