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

   Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 11:43:19 -0400
   From: Matthias Blume <blume@CS.Princeton.EDU>

   > My question was: Is Scheme interested in addressing the problems of
   > people like Sperber and Bawden, who try to use Scheme for serious
   > programming?  There are those who would answer "No".  I'd like us to
   > finally decide the question.

   I don't think it is reasonably to expect that such a question can be
   decided. Who exactly are the people who are summarily referred to as
   "Scheme" here?  Those whose names appear on the Scheme report?  Those
   on this list? Those who are trying to _use_ the language?  There is no
   easy answer to this, so the question must be un-asked. MU.

   To me, it is unbelievable how quickly Richard's well-meant request has
   deteriorated into political bickering.  All he wants is that people
   get a chance to sit together and talk about _design_ (as opposed to


   Perhaps, to avoid further political confrontation, it would be best
   if those who like to further develop the language simply
   disassociated themselves from the name "Scheme".  This way no-one
   gets offended, and we can all just move on.  (Of course, some may
   say that this has already happened a long time ago...)

Politics is the only essential issue left.  This group has long ago
devolved into at least two camps, with different goals and
motivations.  These goals come into conflict when "design" issues are
discussed, preventing forward motion by the group as a whole.

It's all very well to say that we need to find a solution that
satisfies everyone, but I think that isn't going to happen.

And saying that, because the problem is impossibly hard, we must not
ask the question, is just another way of saying that Scheme is dead.
Design is irrelevant until the question is answered, at least design
with the goal of moving the standard forward.

There really are only two options available here.  First, that the
various factions think up new names and go forward in different
directions under these new flags.  Second, that one faction takes over
and pushes Scheme forward in their direction, leaving out the other

Which would you choose?