[plt-scheme] Papers on criticism of Scheme?

From: Alex Shinn (alexshinn at gmail.com)
Date: Sun Nov 2 21:16:28 EST 2008

"Grant Rettke" <grettke at acm.org> writes:

> This paper:
> http://www.cs.kent.ac.uk/people/staff/dat/miranda/wadler87.pdf
> was referenced recently. It was interesting to see criticisms of
> Scheme from someone who knew Scheme. I think Wadler knew it well.

It's pretty clear that at the time he wrote that paper he
barely knew Scheme at all.  On page 13 he actually admits to
having typed into a REPL

  ((+ 3 4) = (+ 5 2))

the sort of mistake you wouldn't expect anyone who had spent
more than a few days working with Scheme to make, yet in the
same paragraph he claims to be "an experienced Lisp

His main points are made as an attack on Scheme itself, when
in fact with macros Scheme can have all of the features he
discusses (he seems to be completely unaware of the
existence of macros).

Taken as an approach to teaching (i.e. should you teach
vanilla Scheme or Scheme with some libraries) he has some
valid points.  Personally I think pattern-matching is vastly
underused in Scheme programming.


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