[plt-scheme] Interacting w/ MzScheme

From: Bradd W. Szonye (bradd+plt at szonye.com)
Date: Sat Dec 11 14:03:24 EST 2004

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.

Eli Barzilay wrote:
> 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.

That's a poor analogy, since most computers use an open floating-point
format, so that you could write your own function if you needed to.

> 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.

That explains /why/ it's not an open format, but it doesn't change the
fact that it's not open.

> Is it also not ok for .zo files to be undocumented?

Why are you conflating "not open" and "not OK"? Closed formats are
sometimes OK. For example, if the data is only useful in connection with
a particular tool, there's less need for an open format. That's the case
with .zo files.

However, when the closed format locks you into a particular tool, when
there are alternative tools available, that's not OK, in my opinion.
That's apparently the case with snips.
Bradd W. Szonye

Posted on the users mailing list.