[plt-scheme] Re: Is R6RS useless for PLT?

From: Michael Vanier (mvanier42 at gmail.com)
Date: Mon Nov 24 05:27:47 EST 2008

Geoffrey S. Knauth wrote:
> On Mon, 24 Nov 2008 11:32:41 +0200, kbohdan at mail.ru said:
>> Again, choosing between r6rs portability and PLT power *is* constraint.
>> Portability *is* requirement when I'm going to create some real-world 
>> (non-research, non-study and not a game) software.
> You had some interesting points, but I'll focus on this one.  If
> portability is important (it's usually a good thing), and R6RS has not
> emerged beautiful enough for PLT to ground their current work in it,
> then someone has to pay, in sweat or money or love, to make a R6RS
> DrScheme happen.  My question to PLT would then be, "If someone were
> driven to create a R6RS-pure DrScheme, is it madness?  Is it needless? 
> Is it akin to the Emacs/XEmacs split?  Or maybe it is no big deal?"  I
> also remember the idea was floated of a translator, something that could
> generate R6RS code.
> DrScheme is not a game or toy.  It is more like a gift of stem cells. 
> It can be used for world class real-world software.  The pieces have
> been coming together for years.
I might add that Python, Ruby, Perl, etc. don't have "portability" in 
any official, blessed-by-committee sense but that hasn't stopped anyone 
from writing real-world, non-research, non-study and non-game software 
in them.  Looked at this way, there is nothing ominous about PLT 
Scheme.  Conversely, Common Lisp has had a blessed-by-committee standard 
for decades; how much real-world software is written in Common Lisp 
anymore, relative to that written in Python/Ruby/Perl?

Portability has benefits, but it has big costs as well.  For languages 
with smaller user bases, the costs often outweight the benefits.


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