[plt-scheme] Re: Is R6RS useless for PLT?

From: Dimitris Vyzovitis (vyzo at media.mit.edu)
Date: Tue Nov 18 13:23:58 EST 2008

On Tue, 18 Nov 2008, Ernie Smith wrote:

> Shriram Krishnamurthi wrote:
>> Out of curiosity, how many Perl implementations do you routinely port
>> between?  Or Ruby implementations?  Or Tcl implementations?
> I'm taking the above as a rhetorical question.
> As such I think your point is not addressing the spirit of his question.
> PLT scheme offers features one is tempted to take advantage of.
> BUT the number of people maintaining PLT scheme is so small one has
> to view them as an endangered species.
> Willy-nilly use of extensions is detrimental to portability,
> and when environment has a risk of extinction,
> portability equates to re-usability.
> A helpful answer to his question would be to suggest a strategy
> to  keep control over the 'willy-nilly' and thus minimize
> risk and maximize recourse in the possible event of extinction.
> Interestingly, giving him a good answer will reduce the risk of
> extinction by promoting population growth.
> Simply sticking to RnRs merely makes PLT extensions esoteric.
> In the event that PLT scheme is no more, what is my emigration strategy
> for my body  of work?  What can I do now to minimize that problem without 
> also ruling out all the extended features?
> I think that is more the spirit of his question.

Well, macros... that's why we use scheme after all!
When the implementation offers compelling enough features (plt does) to 
use them, by all means do.

If it goes extinct, it is not the end of the world. Most schemes are 
sufficiently close in the core, so that porting from a dead scheme to 
another is doable by writing a sufficient macro set.
It is not trivial if you go too deep in featureland, but it is not 
impossible either.

Also, another aspect that is important: plt (and most schemes out there) 
are free software, so the code will live even if the core team disappears 
from the face of the world.

-- vyzo

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