[plt-scheme] Papers on criticism of Scheme?

From: Shriram Krishnamurthi (sk at cs.brown.edu)
Date: Sun Nov 2 22:01:12 EST 2008

I learned Scheme from SICP and a very traditional REPL.  After a brief
initial hump, I found the programming style natural and the language
enjoyable, but the one thing I could not quite get the hang of was
quote.  Years later I realized the problem was not with quote per se,
it was with the way the REPL presented it.

* Students can't tell the difference between (list 'x) '(x) and (x)

As the saying goes, I resemble that remark.  Exercises meant to
clarify the REPL only confused me, because the REPL printing is NOT
the right way to think of *intermediate* results (and I naively
thought that the REPL was merely the thing that showed the final step
of computation, not a special device in itself).  That is, I was
thinking with a value semantics but the environment did not offer me
value printing.

In short, let's not shoot the messenger here.  Irrespective of whether
Phil knew Scheme intimately or not, some of the issues he raises are
worth contemplating.  (But I do agree w/ Alex; I can't imagine writing
an infix expression after *programming* in Scheme for any duration --
but it's conceivable that someone who has only *taught* Scheme could
make that mistake....)


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