[plt-scheme] to define, or to let

From: Bradd W. Szonye (bradd+plt at szonye.com)
Date: Sun Mar 21 00:10:51 EST 2004

Bradd wrote:
>> What's up with the parochial tone?

Eli Barzilay wrote:
> I'm just tired of this.  I obviously didn't say anything you didn't
> know about, you didn't say anything I didn't know about (except fot
> that C/C++ stuff, which I *really* don't care about).

It's not "C/C++ stuff." The term "quiet change" comes from the C++
community, but the concept is not unique to that language. I did talk
about something you obviously did not know, and you wrote it off because
you think of it as "C/C++ stuff." Your parochial attitude is the only
thing hindering communication here, and yet you're the one complaining
that you're tired of it.

> My opinion is not surprising given the fact that there was a time
> where I had to choose an implementation, and I went with PLT.  Your
> opinion is also quite known by now.

Is it? Based on your responses so far, it sounds like you're still
deliberately ignorant of what I was talking about.

> This is now at the beginning of an opinion festival -- lots of texts,
> almost zero content.  Do you want to do that?

And I'm tired of hearing this from you. Whenever I disagree with you,
you claim that I'm writing "lots of texts" with "almost zero content." I
didn't write that many texts, and they addressed at least three
different points. Your accusation is unfounded. If you don't want to
listen, that's fine, but quit accusing me of writing content-free

>> Quiet changes are a major risk factor for language implementors and
>> users. While you may reasonably not care about C/C++ stuff, and you
>> may not have heard about "quiet changes" before, it's quite foolish
>> to ignore wisdom from another community just because it's another
>> community.

> My community uses a standard that leaves important things open for
> implementations.  It is a standard that forces implementations to do
> such things, and indeed implementations do them and they usually do a
> very good job documenting such changes.

Guess what? The C++ community is the same way, yet they still try to
avoid quiet changes and quiet extensions, because they pose great risk
for implementors and users.

>>> Is there anything "less quiet" that is needed? Is there any
>>> implementation that doesn't change things in a well-advertised way?

>> First, I wouldn't call the letrec extension "well-advertised." The
>> compiler doesn't report it at all,

> What should the compiler do?  Spit a warning?

That'd be a pretty good idea, given that R5RS vehemently warns users not
to do it.

>> and the docs don't make any special note of it.

> It's under "local binding".  It is the only place where `letrec' is
> indexed.  What more do you want?

See, you're just not listening. I've already explained what I'd prefer,
so why are you asking?

>>> Is there any implementation that does *exactly* R5RS, nothing more,
>>> nothing less? And the most important question: Is there any point in
>>> continuing this thread?

>> Definitely not, if you're only going to contribute this kind of rant.
>> You obviously did not understand what "quiet change" means, yet you
>> went on for a screenful spewing bile at the idea, apparently just
>> because it came from the C/C++ community.

> You have things completely confused.  The reason I don't like this
> discussion is that it will lead nowhere.  When I wrote my reply I
> didn't care for the C/C++ community, and it might be surprising, but I
> still don't care about them ....

The only connection between "quiet change" and "the C/C++ community" is
that the C++ folks coined the term. Are you under the mistaken
impression that I'm advocating a change just because the C++ gurus said
so? I'm sick and tired of you smearing me, accusing me of "zero content"
when it's really just *you* not wanting to listen.

> You are talking in a forum that is dedicated to an implementation that
> has some intentional design decisions like the specified evaluation
> order and like this behavior of letrec. By speaking in this forum
> against these intentional features you should expect similar reaction
> as posting a "Scheme is stupid, use Python" on c.l.l.

Actually, I expected the smart folks here to at least acknowledge that
there was some value in the idea of avoiding "quiet" extensions. They
might reasonably argue that the benefit is worth the risk, and I have no
problem with that, although it would make me unhappy.

But I did not expect this kind of knee-jerk, parochial flamewar, nor did
I expect somebody to start the flame-war and then try to justify it by
claiming, "You shoulda known better!"

> Now, please don't refer to my posts as "bile", and to me typing as
> "spewing", unless you really want this discussion to deteriorate at
> such a high speed.

I'll consider it when you show some evidence that you're actually
reading what I write, instead of just arbitrarily claiming that it's a
priori not worth reading.
Bradd W. Szonye

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