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[firstname.lastname@example.org: [RPG@SAIL.Stanford.EDU: Proposal to Handle All Possible Decisions on Scheme Standardization ]]
Clyde tried to send this to our notesfile, but it didn't work, so here
it is again.
Date: Tue, 26 Jan 88 16:40:13 CST
From: Clyde Camp <email@example.com>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, gls@THINK.COM, email@example.com,
Subject: [RPG@SAIL.Stanford.EDU: Proposal to Handle All Possible Decisions on Scheme Standardization ]
I have invited Bob Mathis to get in touch with me, but have not at
this point heard from him. I would like to if someone would send me
his phone number.
The IEEE is recognized by ANSI at the same level as X3. Both are
standards generating entities - in fact, the IEEE is a little more so
in that it can actually adapt standards which are taken by ANSI more
or less as is. X3 cannot adapt standards and the documents it puts
forth to ANSI (through CBEMA) must be put through an additional
consensus gathering and balloting process. I believe that this is
because the IEEE is volunteer and open to anyone while X3 membership
requires that all members pay a service fee and as such it tends to
represent companies/organizations rather than individuals.
If you want Scheme to be associated with Common Lisp and held under
the same umbrella, then X3 makes sense. Otherwise, I believe the IEEE
is a better choice.
All of the IEEE/CS's standards activities were presented to X3's SPARC
committee on January 12. I was there, not Dick nor Bob. There was
interest by several people as to how Scheme and Common Lisp were
related, but absolutely no indication that there was a problem. Since
then there has been no official or unofficial problem. This
presentation to X3 is purely voluntary on the part of the IEEE in
order to identify potential standardization conflicts before things get
as far along as FORTH and PASCAL did. There is, I might add, no
reciprocal presentation by X3 to any IEEE entity.
So far, I'm the highest ranking officer in any of the organizations to
discuss this with you and I've tried to be open about it once I
recognized that everyone wanted to be informed. I would appreciate it
if people sending out non-RRRS-AUTHORS mail on this matter would copy
me so that I can address incorrect information if necessary before it
It is unclear to me whether Dick and Bob are speaking for X3J13 or
representing their own opinions. (Not to imply that either is bad, I
just don't know one way or the other.)
To address Dick's itemized list:
1) This is a suprise to me. Yes, they are both lisp and have lots of
closing parentheses but I don't consider them to be indistingishable
at all. Whether or not they belong in two separate organizations is a
separate issue. As I said in my previous message, there is something
to be said for a hierarchical tree of lisp dialects under some
organization. If this is indeed the desire of the RRRS-AUTHORS then
so be it. But I was under the distinct impression that smushing
Scheme in under common-lisp was a highly undesirable thing.
2) ANSI does recognize X3J13 as the technical working group for (a)
Lisp. There is no reason, rule, law, precedent which prohibits the
IEEE from starting up this effort if everyone agrees that it is the
right thing to do. There is also nothing which prohibits ANSI from
recognizing such an activity. X3J13 represents the status quo today,
not for all future time. It certainly does not "..include dialects
such as Scheme" as an absolute de facto state although without
contention that is where things would probably fall.
3) If you want. I would point out that the members & organizations
must pay a fee. X3 members can freely participate in IEEE workshops,
but not vice versa. With respect to speed and "whether anything comes
out" issues, the same applies to the IEEE. The document is ready when
the working group says it is. If the working group thinks that it
should be abandoned, it can be.
4) According to item #2, it's already included?!? In any case, if
Scheme==Common-lisp then I'm wasting my time.
5) The only pressure the RRRS-AUTHORS have seen is pressure to START
the process. This is the very thing I was trying to avoid in the
first place by giving the RRRS-AUTHORS first whack at being the
core of working group, thereby giving them significant control over
what was going on. X3J13 has had no interest in this until now.
6) The same is true with the IEEE as with X3. The ANSI US National
Committee appoints delagates to ISO and IEC. X3 and IEEE are both
7) Come on now!! I do, obviously, think it would be a mistake, but as
I've said before, if the RRRS-AUTHORS community wants to use X3J13
then that's the way it'll be - neither I nor the IEEE are going to
engage in a "renegade .. effort for standardizing Scheme." My
original goal was to get some standardization effort started and I
felt (and feel) that the IEEE was better suited. But you guys are the
ones doing the work and if you're not happy with that, then by all
means go with X3. In all honesty, I think that the row will be much
tougher to hoe.
But just to clear up things, such a petition to SPARC would NOT
"officially disallow" anything. Given the scenario that X3 and IEEE
both feel that they have legitimate activities in the same area
(meaning that there are blocks of people in both organizations who
adamently feel there is reason to continue), then both organizations
would carry the arguments to the ANSI Information Systems Standards
Board (ISSB) to arbitrate the case if it could be settled in no other
manner. (X3J13 might have to do it through SC22, but I'm not sure.)
This is analogous to two kids arguing over ownership of a toy and
going to daddy to settle it. Depending on the arguments, the
convictions of the organizations, precedent, sizes of working groups
and lots of other factors it could go either way. IEEE's "won" some,
X3's "won" some. In either case, it is often common to have (as in
the case of FORTH and PASCAL) some sort of joint ownership/control.
8) True. But this is happening anyway and any standardization effort
will tend to promote it.
9) Not necessarily true although there is some merit to this. Again,
the question is how closely do you guys want Scheme to be tied to