[plt-scheme] Apparent inconsistencies between original spirit of RnRS and R6RS [Fw: Ann: Sketchy LISP, Third Edition]

From: Sam TH (samth at ccs.neu.edu)
Date: Wed Aug 6 23:56:55 EDT 2008

2008/8/6 Benjamin L. Russell <DekuDekuplex at yahoo.com>:

> I have been reading through the recent R6RS-related threads in the
> plt-scheme mailing list, and it seems that PLT Scheme is heading
> toward becoming an R6RS-interoperable variant of Scheme.  However, I
> am concerned about the direction of the future evolution of PLT
> Scheme.
> One of the main reasons that I preferred Scheme over Common Lisp
> was the succinctness of Scheme, caused precisely by the lack of
> libraries.  One of the main reasons that I stopped studying Java was
> precisely the huge growth in libraries.  How does PLT Scheme plan to
> address the apparent inconsistency between the above-mentioned
> original guiding principle of RnRS Scheme and the above-mentioned
> changes in R6RS Scheme?

Prior to the beginning of the R6RS process, PLT Scheme already had a
library system of more complexity than that of the R6RS (and a
wonderful library system it is, too).  PLT Scheme also has a vast
standard library, much larger than that specified by R6RS.

However, I and probably many other PLT people would take issue with
the idea that there is a tension between the guiding principles of
Scheme, as expressed in both the R5RS and R6RS and the design of PLT
Scheme.  We strive to create powerful, extensible and flexible
language features, that we can combine do new things in new ways, and
to give programmers expressiveness as well as access to lots of
built-in features.  The greater complexity of everything since the
days when Steele and Sussman invented Scheme mean that PLT Scheme is
larger than those systems, but that's not a flaw.

So in sum, I don't think there's an inconsistency, but if you think
there is one, then PLT Scheme is already on the R6RS side.

sam th
samth at ccs.neu.edu

Posted on the users mailing list.