[plt-scheme] Fwd: [r6rs-discuss] r6rs is perfect

From: Matthias Felleisen (matthias at ccs.neu.edu)
Date: Sat Jun 9 12:53:32 EDT 2007

This morning I sent this message to the R6RS list and it then  
occurred to me that the readers of this list may benefit from it.

As I have pleaded before, please sign up for the ratification process  
for R6R Scheme. -- Matthias

Begin forwarded message:

> On 6/9/07, Matthias Felleisen <matthias at ccs.neu.edu> wrote:
>> When I read the "side by side" and "head to head" descriptions, I am
>> wondering which one is which and which one is better.
>>   * Is it really good that Scheme (the spec) doesn't support a module
>> system?
>>   * Is it really good that almost all major implementations support
>> their own version of a module system?
>>   * Is it really good that programmers can't even leave the module
>> structure intact when porting code?
>> Imagine your own similar questions and add them here. We have lived
>> in a side-by-side universe for a long time, and there are quite a few
>> programmers who have suffered from this not-really-the-same-language
>> problem. Besides the module system, there are other not-quite-the-
>> same-but-related features that implementations have and programmers
>> wish to use.
>> The R6RS process has pushed several major implementors/
>> implementations to agree on a design for modules and other
>> constructs. Their report declares that they are ready to put a large
>> amount of work in to get from r5rs to r6rs. I believe that this step
>> would help the community in several arenas, listed in increasing
>> order of relevance:
>>   -- the academic publishing business
>>   -- the fund raising business (NSF and friends)
>>   -- adapting each others innovations
>>   -- supporting programmers who learn on one and switch to another
>> implementation
>>   -- supporting commercial programmers who need reassurance that
>> there is more than one implementation and implementor [ever attended
>> CUFP?]
>> Is the document perfect? Is every construct exactly the 'right
>> thing'? Of course not! Guy and Gerry revised their first Scheme
>> report because they didn't get it 'right'. R3RS and R4RS and R5RS
>> revised flaws in R(n-1)RS because the authors/editors didn't get it
>> 'right'. It is extremely difficult and usually impossible to get the
>> design of a complex beast (such as a programming language) 'right'
>> the first time. It's all about the feedback loop and revising your
>> design as you go. Indeed, 'right' doesn't exist; what exists is 'most
>> pragmatic and internally beautiful' nothing else. (See my other  
>> post.)
>> Our choice is quite simple: move forward as a community with some
>> amount of convergence (r6rs) or split into dozens of mutually
>> incompatible sub-communities (status quo, including srfi).
>> -- Matthias
>> _______________________________________________
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>> r6rs-discuss at lists.r6rs.org
>> http://lists.r6rs.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/r6rs-discuss

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