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Scheme pre-R6RS Workshop at ICFP - Call for Participation

   Date: Mon, 25 May 1998 16:23:48 -0400
   From: Richard Kelsey <kelsey@research.nj.nec.com>

   I am someone who edited R5RS because no one else did so.  Now I am
   organizing a meeting to discuss possibilities for R6RS for much the
   same reason.  Would you prefer no meeting to one organized by me?

Sigh.  I had a feeling if I raised this point that I'd get back some binary
question of the form "would you rather I didn't xxx?"  That isn't of course
the right question, so I won't even attempt to answer it.  (You probably would
both misunderstand and therefore not like my answer if I did.)  The right
question has nothing to do with what was done, but what wasn't done first.

What I'd "rather" (i.e., what I'd like in addition) is that we acknowledge
that it's hard to get travel budget and that every time a conference happens
that many of us might attend, it's an opportunity for a meeting.  I'm also
aware that any time we don't have a meeting at something people attend, it
diminishes the likelihood of budget for a subsequent meeting on a similar
topic.  So I'd really like it if we all discussed these issues beforehand
and you asked if we'd like to meet, if we'd like to see proposals when we
meet or whether we'd like to meet to talk about what proposals we wanted.
If your having the meeting is going to inhibit an authors' meeting, that
might affect my opinion of whether you should have it.  I don't know what the
outcome of our discussing it would be; what's bothering me is not the lack
of a certain output--it's the lack of request for INPUT from us.

I'd like us to discuss whether proposals from the outside are in fact in order
or whether we want to first think about what our goal is.  Is this a "bug
fixing" release?  Is this a "new features" release?  Is this a "final"
release?  Sure, we CAN accept proposals in advance of knowing these things,
but why waste people's time on things that don't make sense?  I mean, almost
every conference has a call for papers.  Why do you think they do that?  Most
people know a conference needs papers--wouldn't they just write them anyway?
I think people want to know what the admission criteria and timetables are,
since at least some people have busy schedules and need to know how to best
optimize their time by knowing the REAL constraints, the REAL likelihood of
acceptance, etc.  When you post a notice like this, I think some people rush
thinking "this is it--my chance" and I also think some people think "anything
is possible" which is maybe sometimes more true than others.  Maybe the same
proposal taking more time and coming in another time would be better.  Who
knows?  If the rrrs-authors committee is about consensus, though, and I don't
mean voting procedure but rather the general concept that "we get to decide"
rather than "you get to decide", then I think it's only fair to bring these
matters before the committee.

Basically, I see no reason that R6RS should be mentioned publicly until we've
talked about what it is, when it is, etc.  Otherwise, if people ask me or
others on the committee, we're forced into a situation where we look very
uncoordinated--where I don't know what you're doing if someone asks, and
that reflects badly on you, me, and the committee.