[plt-scheme] Comment re: Help Desk

From: Matt Jadud (jadudm at gmail.com)
Date: Thu Sep 13 16:16:36 EDT 2007

I have more than one today, and I'm taking care of a bunch of email.

A colleague across the land-sea of the USA was working on writing some
code in DrScheme. They gravitated towards R5RS (believing this was the
way to go), and threw their hands up at the absence of reasonable
things, like a random number generator, or the ability to grab the
current date in seconds, etc.

Now, they haven't worked with PLT Scheme a lot, but spent plenty of
time in the past with Chez. Thinking that R5RS is the right language
to choose was, I'm going to argue, reasonable.

Their comment, after learning that language choice restricts help-desk
results, was that it might have been nice if there was a way for them
to know that there were other results under other languages. That is,
if they had known there were '78 results in MzScheme (Textual)' as
opposed to nothing found in R5RS (when they searched for 'random'),
they might have spent less time today gnashing teeth.

It's food for thought. Certainly, that could prove to be confusing to
a student in Beginning Scheme who does a search, and discovers there
are several bazillion hits on the term 'structure' if they switch to
"Pretty Big" instead of "Beginner Scheme." But I thought I would offer
it up all the same.


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