[racket-dev] Revising Racket's home page

From: Eli Barzilay (eli at barzilay.org)
Date: Tue Aug 20 19:26:58 EDT 2013

An hour ago, Sam Tobin-Hochstadt wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 20, 2013 at 5:30 PM, Jose A. Ortega Ruiz <jao at gnu.org> wrote:
> > On Tue, Aug 20 2013, Neil Van Dyke wrote:
> >>
> >> Yes, I scroll down the page and I see pictures and a simple
> >> picture language, and it seems to be using them to introduce some
> >> pretty simple and familiar concepts, so I assume it's for
> >> children.
> >
> > FWIW, i get the exact same feeling.
> I think this is a sign that we need to revise the tutorial, not that
> we need to not link to it. For example, Quick is the only tutorial
> that doesn't assume the reader knows Lisp notation.

I can see where the problem is: assume that you're trying to convince
someone foreign to any lisp (or worse, someone who "remembers some
parens from an undergrad course 20 years ago") to do the next project
in Racket.

Perhaps a good way to resolve this would be to write a

    Semi-Quick: An Introduction to Racket Hacking

text, and have a standout blurb at the top of each of the two Quicks
describing the style of the text and referring to the other Quick if
they prefer a more {hacker-oriented,playful} kind of an intro.  Maybe
even go with another one:

    Quasi-Quick: An Introduction to Racket for the Secular Hacker

Obviously, the main issue is who will write all of these things -- but
I think that it's much easier than it seems, assuming permissions of
the respective authors:

Semi-Quick: take Prabhakar's intro (cs.uwaterloo.ca/~plragde/tyr/) and
  make it terse enough to fit a single (longish) page.  I think that
  this is a fine choice for an aspiring hacker -- the only part that
  is missing, the advanced section, is probably the part that should
  at best be a very quick overview for a bunch of things that you
  could do, mostly serving as a link hub.

Quasi-Quick: this seems like it fits well the new Learn Racket in Y
  Minutes (learnxinyminutes.com/docs/racket/), where the text is more
  overview-ish, so is more oriented towards people who already know a
  few languages and are mainly interested at a syntactic/what's-new
  kind of overview.  The main thing that is needed is a tiny bit more
  prose to make it more readable (but very little, since this audience
  is more interested in the code bits).

A good writer can probably bring both to a good level in a few hours.

          ((lambda (x) (x x)) (lambda (x) (x x)))          Eli Barzilay:
                    http://barzilay.org/                   Maze is Life!

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