[plt-scheme] Re: Look at it differently: Why PLT?

From: Michael Vanier (mvanier at cs.caltech.edu)
Date: Thu Nov 20 16:27:08 EST 2008

I can't speak for Scheme48 or MIT Scheme, but I know for a fact that 
guile has a C interface.  Not that I use it (I'm very partial to PLT 
Scheme), but let's give credit where credit is due.


/// wrote:
> On Nov 19, 12:37 pm, "Greg Woodhouse" <gregory.woodho... at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> There is a lot of discussion going on here about how many PLT users wish it
>> would conform more closely to R6RS. As someone working in two arenas where
>> standards are especially important (healthcare and government), I can't help
>> but be sympathetic. Indeed, I'd like to be able to use PLT Scheme for
>> production work, and not conforming with existing standards is a major
>> impediment there.
>> That being said, everyone on this list is using, or at least interested in
>> using, PLT Scheme. Why?
> There are several reasons I use PLT Scheme:
> PLT Scheme is a Lisp. Many of the reasons that Lisp is a great
> programming language are shared with PLT Scheme.
> PLT Scheme has a very useful, big set of libraries not found in other
> Scheme implementations, and that can't be ported to other Scheme
> implementations because of PLT's module architecture and other
> features. These libraries implement important features that allow
> me to express ideas with simpler code.
> I find PLT's interactive environment to be more useful than the
> static environments provided by Chicken, Stalin, et al.
> The other interactive Schemes tend to be interpreters with no C
> function interface (Guile, MIT Scheme, Scheme 48), making things like
> database support nearly impossible.
> Even though "phase levels" cripple PLT Scheme's macro system in
> frustrating
> ways (forcing unwanted complexity into my code), many other Schemes
> are even
> more crippled when it comes to macros, having no support at all for
> syntax-case macros.
> Even though PLT Scheme provides an interactive development
> environment,
> programs written with it can be compiled to regular executables that
> load quickly. This is so important to my project, that the fact that
> SBCL is better than PLT Scheme in every other way doesn't matter
> enough
> to make me switch to it.
> Even with all the power offered by PLT Scheme, it's still dead simple,
> as long as you don't try to do anything too fancy with macros, and
> as long as you don't think you should be able to use libraries that
> use set-car! and set-cdr!. The module system is far easier to figure
> out (when it comes to non-macro code) than Common Lisp's ASDF. There
> is good online documentation, even for older versions of PLT Scheme.
> _________________________________________________
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