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Re: The future of the Scheme standard

   Date: Tue, 23 Apr 1996 01:47:42 -0400
   From: Alan Bawden <Alan@lcs.mit.edu>
   Sender: Alan@lcs.mit.edu

   Ah, but the Authors are probably obsolete -- getting the Authors to agree
   on things probably no longer matters except as an academic exercise.  Next
   month the Implementors are going to meet and attempt to decide on what
   -they- think should happen to the language.  They may fail to agree to
   anything, but anything they -do- agree upon becomes an instant de facto

I will be attending the implementors workshop.  My hope is that it
will be a forum for discussing implementation issues.  This doesn't
exclude discussing language features, especially to the extent that
they have impact on implementation techniques, but I don't see the
workshop as a place where decisions will be made.

The inability of the Scheme Authors to move forward is not Scheme's
only impediment.  As an example, there are many more implementations
available to run on Unix than there are on more widely-used platforms.
Getting the implementors to talk to each other could help make Scheme
much more widely used.

   [...] Note that my attempt last month to get the workshop organizers
   to clarify that this workshop was -not- an Authors meeting in disguise,
   elicited instead a message that explicitly likened the workshop to the
   original Brandeis meeting!  That's about as close as you can come to
   saying that they -are- hoping to replace the Authors without actually
   coming right out and saying it.

I was surprised by the organizers' reaction as well.  In any case,
once it starts the workshop will be in the hands of the attendees.
In recent history the Scheme implementors have not been any more
inclined to consensus than the Scheme Authors.

   I'm not actually sure why we're having the discussion about condition
   systems on this mailing list right now. [...]

I think the latest round of condition-systems mail started with
Will Clinger's listing a number of criteria for judging condition
systems.  I then posted my design for such a system to publicize
it and to get feedback.  I doubt Will had any hidden agenda and
I know I didn't.  Whether or not we can ever agree on anything, this
list is still the best place for an informed discussion of Scheme.