[racket-dev] new package system collections and conflicts

From: Robby Findler (robby at eecs.northwestern.edu)
Date: Wed Dec 3 12:19:47 EST 2014

I think there is perhaps a misunderstanding.

The design of the pkg system is (partly) driven by the observations
the core team has about what gives us special privilege and then
working to lift those restrictions so we don't need to operate under
that special privilege. And I'll note that this theme is one that has
long been part of the design of Racket, going back at least as far as
Matthew's "MrEd as OS" (aka 'the revenge of the son of the Lisp
machine' paper).

So: it isn't about you at all, really. I don't think anyone claims to
know what you want or need. It's about putting ourselves on the same
footing (in terms of access) as everyone else. We see this an
important step in making more effective use of the community and
driving Racket forward in a more distributed, global way.

As far as charity goes, I generally think the world needs more of it,
even if you don't, so I'm glad to see a little of balance being
restored to this particular thread.


On Wed, Dec 3, 2014 at 10:32 AM, Neil Van Dyke <neil at neilvandyke.org> wrote:
> I don't think I need charity.
> I thought the vision for the new package system had already been explained
> adequately.  I would be very interested to learn how the model is
> well-suited to third-party developers like me.
> But -- I mean this constructively -- I'd be happy if someone simply came out
> and said "this model is great for core developers, we still have to figure
> out everyone else, and maybe the model isn't great for everyone else".  The
> reason is that I've looked at the new package system seriously 5-6 times
> since it was announced, and I keep being told that the model is intended for
> non-core people like me, and that someone else knows my needs better than
> me.  Open source reuse was an especial area of interest to me, the package
> system is very important, and I've given the benefit of the doubt 5-6 times
> now.  (This has actually stalled most of my public Racket work, one way or
> another, for about 2 years.)
> I'm not harshing on Racket; just on how the new package system was sprung on
> non-core people, and the narrative.  It doesn't look typical of Racket.
> Racket is usually in the position that it could say "we have a better idea"
> (on, e.g., module system sophistication, various syntax extension mechanisms
> and mixed languages support, various aspects of DrRacket, the related
> pedagogic projects, etc.), and usually that doesn't have to be said, because
> the superiority of Racket is immediately apparent.  That's why I've been a
> Racketeer for 13 years and counting.
> Neil V.
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