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

|   Subject: Re: Scheme pre-R6RS Workshop at ICFP - What is the Point?
|   Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 15:34:36 -0400
|   From: Matthias Blume <blume@CS.Princeton.EDU>
|   Actually, I'd like to just make a note and then postpone the
|   discussion of binary I/O.  Here is why:
|   Most reasonable languages (and here I include C, C++, etc. along with
|   my more favored ML etc.), I/O has been deliberately left out from the
|   core language design.  Instead, it is provided by a "standard
|   library".
|   Now, some may say that standard library design is also language
|   design, and I would agree with this to some extent.  But there still
|   is a distinction.
|   Before we are able to talk about library design, we must first come up
|   with a standard way of dealing with libraries in general.  And _that_
|   will have to be reflected in the design of the language itself.  What
|   I am talking about, of course, is a module system.

I find it funny that you suggest C as a reasonable language, and then
you claim that you _must_ have a module system in order to make
libraries viable.

I would conjecture that C has more viable libraries and is a more
viable language than most (often and in many ways the only one) and
has nothing but the trivial module system (static and extern) that can
be trivially emulated in Scheme.

Clearly the lack of a "proper" module system has not deterred C's
success, and I would also claim that the lack of a "proper" module
system has nothing to do with Scheme's lack of success.  Binary I/O
might be closer to the truth.

I'm not saying that we shouldn't have a module system (although I care
about its properties), but it is clearly not as important as people
make it to be.

I like Will's suggestion of multiple documents and decoupling progress
from the authors group, which seems to have fractured along
ideological lines.

I realize that it will probably encourage the language to evolve in a
direction different from what I prefer (given that, in my view, a lot
of the more active people are ML-wannabees, no derision intended --
just shorthand).  However, if they care about it, and are willing and
able to put more work into it than I am, more power to them.

They day will come again for the kind of language that I like.  It
won't be called Scheme, but it will be sweet.