[racket] Racket Apology (was: Re: Poll: Does anybody besides Doug use 'plot'?)

From: John Clements (clements at brinckerhoff.org)
Date: Fri Sep 30 15:07:30 EDT 2011

On Sep 30, 2011, at 10:05 AM, Robby Findler wrote:

> On Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 12:01 PM, John Clements
> <clements at brinckerhoff.org> wrote:
>>  In my world, a change will fall into the "yes, racket is a rapidly changing language" bin;
>> it's not unusual for much of my old code to be broken.
> I realize this is a meta question, but is this the world we really
> want Racket to be in?


But let me qualify that.

In starting to teach another class to introductory students this year, I thought again about what I wanted to tell them about why we're not using a language common in industry.  Typically, most of our discussion circles around why it is that (language x) is inappropriate, but I wanted to put a more positive spin on it; the statement that I finally came up with was something like this:

Racket is an experimental language (cf. Shriram's "hothouse"). We are *constantly* experimenting with the language, and on another level, we have a language that's designed to enable *your* language experiments. That's what makes it an exciting language to work with and on, and why it has design features that are still years away from appearing in mainstream languages.  

That's *also* the reason that you'll almost never see Racket used in industry. It's a language that doesn't compromise its ideals, and is constantly innovating, and if you're a business that's looking for a stable language with a broad supply of programmers, Racket would be an extremely surprising choice.
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