[plt-scheme] DrScheme and arc

From: Neil Van Dyke (neil at neilvandyke.org)
Date: Thu Jun 25 22:07:54 EDT 2009

Hugh Myers wrote at 06/24/2009 06:28 PM:
> I've 352 running on another box and wanted to try arc in the Dr's
> environment. Sadly none of the instructions worked. Anyone know well
> enough to write a how-to without assumptions for idiots like me?

Linguistically, Arc seems to start out as Scheme, then breaks Scheme 
compatibility with no satisfactory rationale given (e.g., null vs. false 
question), and adds a bunch of syntactic sugar and conveniences.

Many, many Lisp programmers want to write their own Lisp dialect, and 
several Scheme books in fact consider writing your own interpreter to be 
part of learning the language. It's a good exercise.  Sometimes they 
innovate.  Arc looks like second-system syndrome, compared to the 
inspired and timely innovation of, say, Clojure.

Personally, I would suggest leaning Scheme (starting with DrScheme and 
perhaps HTDP), Haskell, Smalltalk (using Squeak), or Clojure.  Or 
possibly Python, Common Lisp, or (for its popularity, though it will try 
to make you a bureaucratic grunt rather than make you smarter) Java.

If you decide to use Scheme, but -- after *really* understanding 
idiomatic Scheme -- there are features of Arc that you still want, then 
you can add them to Scheme as procedures and macros.  I did a 
proof-of-concept of this in a couple weekends when arc0 was released, by 
implementing most of Arc this way: http://www.neilvandyke.org/morc/


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