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

From: Woodhouse Gregory (gregory.woodhouse at gmail.com)
Date: Thu Aug 7 01:07:46 EDT 2008

On Aug 6, 2008, at 8:56 PM, Sam TH wrote:

> 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.

To me, "piling feature upon feature" suggests a haphazard, poorly  
thought out process. I agree that there's a lot more to PLT Scheme  
than just, say, scheme/base, but I don't think it follows that it is  
not well designed. One interest of mine is using Scheme in practical  
applications (specifically, health information systems). I've thought  
about other functional languages, but find Scheme especially  
attractive. There are practical concerns of course, but I just find  
Scheme more elegant than, say, Common LISP. I've thought about  
languages like ML and Haskell, too, but haven't really found a  
compelling reason to switch to them -- even if I do like the fact  
that they are strongly typed. And let's face it: PLT Scheme has a  
strong, vibrant community behind it.

"It is never too late to become reasonable
and wise; but if the insight comes too late,
there is always more difficulty in starting
the change." -- Immanuel Kant


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