[plt-scheme] Scheme Steering Committee Position Statement

From: Doug Williams (m.douglas.williams at gmail.com)
Date: Fri Aug 21 15:19:04 EDT 2009

I assume most people on this mailing list would agree with you. I certainly
do. But, there are members of the larger Scheme community who believe just
as strongly that small = elegant and elegant = beautiful, therefore small =
beautiful, QED.While this might be a false dichotomy from a language
perspective, it's a very real dichotomy in the community. They have to
address it or give up on a standard that is ratified by a 75-90% majority of
the community.

It would be nice if the two working groups (the "small" language working
group and the "large" language working group) see themselves as working on
the same language. There are statements in both draft charters that state,
"The names of the languages to be developed by working groups 1 and 2 have
not yet been determined. The Steering Committee will consider names
suggested by the working groups." I can see each of them saying, "We're
defining the Scheme language. We don't know what the other language is."

So maybe I talked myself into agreeing that the language dichotomy is
artificial and bad.

On Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 12:17 PM, David Van Horn <dvanhorn at ccs.neu.edu>wrote:

> Sam TH wrote:
>> On Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 12:18 PM, Eduardo Bellani<ebellani at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>> http://scheme-reports.org/2009/position-statement.html
>>> Any comments?
>> I'm disappointed that people think that a Scheme that works well for
>> education and research can't be the same as one that works well for
>> writing large-scale programs.  I think the existence of PLT Scheme, in
>> which large quantities of all three are done, is an existence proof of
>> the opposite.
> Agreed.
> I also think the large v. small language is a false dichotomy.  If you want
> to write a module (library) using nothing but lambda and apply, you can do
> that in R6RS.  If you want all the bells and whistles, you can do that too.
>  We should (and PLT does) focus on enabling this sort of thing.  Rather than
> focus on a small and large instantiation of "Scheme", we should work on the
> boundaries between languages, small and large, safe and unsafe, typed and
> untyped, sane and crazy, etc.
> David
> _________________________________________________
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