[plt-scheme] Scheme or Lisp?

From: Gordon Weakliem (gweakliem at oddpost.com)
Date: Tue Oct 5 11:54:30 EDT 2004

On Oct 4, 2004, at 11:15 PM, Tim Johnson wrote: 
> I would welcome comments that would aid me in making a choice between 
> learning scheme or lisp. 

I was in the same position a little over a year ago, and I chose Scheme, and specifically PLT primarily for a few reasons: 
1) Pretty good XML support (SSAX/SXML) 
2) Simpler language 
3) Implementations 
The last point is very important if you use Windows, the non-commercial Common Lisps tend not to support Windows well.  PLT, OTOH, has a number of features that cater to Windows users. 
> 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. 

The first and third areas are well supported and you'll find lots of interesting work out there.  Databases are a different story; you can expect to continue to use your C skills in any Lisp you choose.  The fact of the matter is that most of the database support out there is done on a volunteer basis.  DB support is the area where PLT is weakest, IMO, but that's primarily a function of the number of database implementations that you can target.  Support is especially weak for the commercial databases, but it's certainly not impossible, you just have to be willing to write a little C.  
Gordon Weakliem 

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