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Re: Scheme pre-R6RS Workshop at ICFP - What is the Point?

>>>>> "Alan" == Alan Bawden <Alan@lcs.mit.edu> writes:

Alan> Do we want Scheme to remain a teaching/research language
Alan> that can only be used for real-world programming with great
Alan> difficulty?

I seem to be one of the few people who use Scheme for real-world
programming regularly.  I actually occasionally do sell software
written in Scheme.  I've concluded Scheme is an excellent language
for this.

My experience is also that it is good for real-world programming
precisely because its built-in paradigms have evolved very slowly and,
for the most part, have been designed very carefully.  This
illuminates the path towards flexible yet durable software.

Actually working on real-world programs in Scheme shows a few obvious
deficiencies in the language which could be fixed without compromising
the minimalism or purity of the language.

I have *heard* that many of the relevant issues have been discussed on
this list, and many proposals have been killed.  I am scared to post
anything for fear that I don't have the necessary knowledge of the
technical/social/political issues involved which I would need to
properly formulate things so that meaningful discussion could result.
Talking to Scheme authors about these things generally results in a
sharp indrawn breath through the front teeth, but not much verbiage.

There's not really a way to learn about this on this list because, as
Richard pointed out, it is primarily characterized by silence and
references to things long past.  I realize many of you veterans have
talked about this to death, but this effectively closes the forum this
list is supposed to provide (or is it?  I got on ...)

I would feel much more comfortable talking about this at a forum where
not every word I say will be on record, and where the relevant people
hang out but are not bound to some standardization process.

Formal "authors' meetings" may provide more justification for actually
attending, but Scheme hasn't exactly moved forward in great leaps at
and through them.

I personally think that Scheme needs a brainstorming session without
the constraints and inhibitions of the past, even if old issues need
to be resurrected so that us greenhorns can benefit from the resulting
insight.  This may be painful and inconvenient for the authors, but,
judging from the traffic on this list these past few months, still
seems a pretty good idea to me.  It also seems that the envisioned
workshop is intended to do exactly that.

Cheers =8-} Mike
Friede, Völkerverständigung und überhaupt blabla