[plt-scheme] Scheme Steering Committee Position Statement

From: Matthias Felleisen (matthias at ccs.neu.edu)
Date: Fri Aug 21 15:19:24 EDT 2009

Thank you Dave and Same for pointing out the obvious flaws with these  
documents (though sure, I can see why one would call this stuff "well  

As Matthew tends to say (he's in-flight for another four hours so I  
can quote him any way I want for now :), you need a certain amount  
complexity to make things look simple. What surprised me to hear is  
that according to Sam, Guy tends to tell people the same kind of thing.

In the case of PLT Scheme, one can easily argue that we built the  
LARGE system so that we could build lots and lots of SMALL languages,  
all suitable for various purposes and all integrable if needed through  
the larger, surrounding universe. So it shouldn't surprise anyone that  
PLT comes not only with batteries, but with

  - 5 small languages for HtDP,
  - an EOPL plug-in
  - a PLAI plug-in
  - a Lazy Scheme plug-in
  - and one Eli plugin per week of 'languages' at NEU

and I am probably overlooking some Scheme dialects here, not to speak  
of an ACL2 plug-in and many many others.

So the real question is

		Do we even need a 'standard' document?

-- Matthias

On Aug 21, 2009, at 2:17 PM, David Van Horn 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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