[plt-scheme] Scheme or Lisp?

From: Matthias Felleisen (matthias at ccs.neu.edu)
Date: Tue Oct 5 09:17:41 EDT 2004

Let me try a short answer:

The answer depends on your budget and the nature of your goal.

If you're interested in a commercial solution with commercial support 
for your tools, an IDE that looks and feels like a conventional IDE as 
much as possible (projects, project builder, some very basic analysis 
tools, etc), Common Lisp from Franz is probably what you want though 
Bigloo Scheme may satisfy your needs.

If you're interested in a freeware/open-source solution and if you 
don't mind research-y innovations, especially an occasional (2 to 3 
years) shift in design (say the class system),  and if you want to 
explore very innovative approaches to, say, Web programming, then you 
might wish to explore PLT Scheme.

Personally, I'd ignore any blind discussions of Scheme vs Common Lisp 
and focus on concrete exploration of specific implementations of the 
language. [Language comparisons at the level of Common Lisp vs Scheme 
are like comparisons of Ideal Communism vs Theoretical Capitalism. They 
ignore the fact that ideas don't and can't exist; we can only use them 
to fix our existing products.]

-- Matthias

On Oct 4, 2004, at 11:15 PM, Tim Johnson wrote:

>   For list-related administrative tasks:
>   http://list.cs.brown.edu/mailman/listinfo/plt-scheme
> I would welcome comments that would aid me in making a choice between
> learning scheme or lisp.
> My specific circumstances are that my income comes primarily from
> web-based database programming.
> Although I've learned at least a dozen programming languages in my 
> time,
> I concentrate primarily on C, python, and rebol these days. Rebol, not
> well known, appears (to me) to be the most scheme(or lisp)-like, and my
> experience with rebol has lead to my interest in scheme/lisp.
> All of the languages that I currently work in have robust resources for
> CGI, database access and web content rendering. It appears that both
> scheme and lisp communities provide such resources as well.
> My R&D time and budget is limited, I'd like to investigate both
> languages thoroughly, but that is probably not feasible.
> Comments, pointers to existing discussions on this subject will be
> appreciated. I'm not interested in introducing an argument over
> languages.
> tim
> -- 
> Tim Johnson <tim at johnsons-web.com>
>       http://www.alaska-internet-solutions.com

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