[plt-scheme] only 2 simple questions

From: Gregory Woodhouse (gregory.woodhouse at sbcglobal.net)
Date: Mon Jan 23 09:54:41 EST 2006

On Jan 23, 2006, at 5:15 AM, Steven H. Rogers wrote:

> Good points, Noel.  They go a long way toward explaining the  
> relative scarcity of well known industrial Scheme applications.   
> Chance plays a role as well.

I know at least one person over on Hardhats (a non-Scheme/Lisp  
related list) that is looking at Allegro Common Lisp and  
AllegroCache  because it seems to provide the same kind of  
persistence technology that has served MUMPS well in health care. (To  
tell you the truth, I'm intrigued, too, though it's a commercial  
product, and I'd much rather be working with Scheme). I suspect  
there's a perception that Scheme isn't quite "industrial strength". I  
don't agree of course. I wouldn't have known that DrScheme was itself  
a Scheme application just by looking at it. The networking  
capabilities of PLT Scheme are superior to what I'm accustomed to  
with MUMPS, too (though in this case, the "Why not use C?" argument  
applies, too). When I mention clear semantics, the response is  
usually something like: That's nice. What does it do for me? More  
generally, FP seems to be going against the stream a bit (though  
newer languages like Ruby do seem to be incorporating more and more  
FP ideas). Just the weight of emphasis on OO makes languages like  
Scheme harder to learn (not because they're difficult, but because  
they're different). There's a Barnes & Noble close to where I live,  
and one thing that simultaneously perplexes, amuses, and annoys me is  
that the software development is divided into two sections of roughly  
equal size: One is called "Software", and it's where you'll find  
books on algorithms, theory, tools and languages. The other section,  
"Software Engineering" is full of books about object orientation,  
patterns, UML, process (meaning, Rational Unified Process) and such.  
If anything, that strikes me as backwards! All the theory, the "meat"  
if you will of software design and development is relegated to  
"Software", and "Software Engineering" is basically the OO section.

Gregory Woodhouse
gregory.woodhouse at sbcglobal.net

"One must act on what has not yet happened."
--Lao Tzu

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