[plt-scheme] Scheme Steering Committee Position Statement

From: Scott Gilbert (xscottg at gmail.com)
Date: Fri Aug 21 17:01:58 EDT 2009

On Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 11:08 AM, Sam TH <samth at ccs.neu.edu> wrote:

> 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.

As explained in the charters for the "small" and "large" languages, the
small language is supposed to be a *subset* of the large language.  I can't
see why this would cause any disappointment.  I could be wrong, but I
presume PLT Scheme would be interested in implementing the large language,
and any libraries written for the small or large languages would therefore
be portable to PLT Scheme.

Other implementors might not be interested in implementing all of a large
language, and there are legitimate reasons for programmers wanting to use
those other smaller implementations.  (I'm trying, unsuccessfully, to keep
this short, so I won't enumerate the reasons.)

I think some people are getting hung up with stigmas associated with the
words "small" and "large".  I could be wrong, but I squint and read between
the lines and translate those words as:

    small = R5RS with extensions and cleanups that everyone can agree on
        + some changes to make it a compatible subset of "large"

    large = R6RS with extensions and cleanups that most everyone can agree

It looks like a good start to me.
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