[plt-scheme] Interacting w/ MzScheme

From: Eli Barzilay (eli at barzilay.org)
Date: Fri Dec 10 23:41:39 EST 2004

On Dec 10, Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
> This is one of the most bizarre uses of "open" I've ever
> seen. Providing a tool to manipulate an opaque format doesn't make
> it any less opaque.  Note that Microsoft scripting tools let you do
> basically the same thing.  You're shouting how different you are,
> yet the description sounds not at all different.

But... this tool comes as bunch of functions etc that you use to read
the files from programs.  This is like getting a function to read a
floating point number from a binary file which should be enough for
use in programs.  It is true that to use these tools you need to use
mred, similar to being forced to use MS's tools (or some equivalent
API) to read MS documents -- but in the MS case this is a feature, and
they invest enough money in making access available only in ways that
they want you to have and always making sure that they profit from it,
it is a feature, not a problem (for them).  OTOH, the PLT reason is
that nobody sees any reason to invest time+effort in describing the
binary format to the point that it can be used outside of mred, and I
really don't see any point in that.  Not having such documentation is
not a feature (nobody invests money in keeping it this way), but a
problem of not having enough manpower and funding to do stuff that is
mostly irrelevant.  Is it also not ok for .zo files to be

Again, this is manifested in a very simple way: you *can* grab the
sources and do the documentation job yourself, no reverse engineering
is required.  Given the PLT manpower, people will only be happy; given
the MS moneypower, doing the same will get you behind bars.

As much as I squint, the two things keep looking very different.

          ((lambda (x) (x x)) (lambda (x) (x x)))          Eli Barzilay:
                  http://www.barzilay.org/                 Maze is Life!

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