[plt-scheme] Scheme Steering Committee Position Statement

From: Erich Rast (erich at snafu.de)
Date: Tue Aug 25 09:24:37 EDT 2009

Elegancy and ease of implementation suggests a small language. In the
real world, a batteries-included standard suitable for writing programs
that can run on various platforms/Scheme implementations is needed. Both
views are obviously right. Therefore, R7RS should specify an onion

R7RS Core: extremely small core language (sort of like the Scheme
assembler, possibly smaller than R6RS, but ideally including an FFI)

R7RS Plus: R7RS Core + a number of libraries that make the language as
big or slightly bigger than R6RS + standard libraries

R7RS GUI: R7RS Plus + a standard, cross-platform GUI widget library that
supports *all* common user-interface widgets (not just a small subset)

If the Steering Committee follows this model and takes a lot of time and
care, I predict grand success. ;-) Otherwise, I'm not so sure if I'm
really interested in yet another 'standard.' I treat Plt scheme as a
development platform/language of its own and it suits my needs fine. 



> why not just put all the "large language" stuff into  
> optional libraries? 

That's fine, as long as the optional libraries are also specified by the
standard. Otherwise, the standard document just specifies something that
nobody actually uses.

>  The "core" language would need to standardize  
> the basic stuff that all reasonable Schemes agree on anyway, plus  
> enough about modules and macros to write and invoke those libraries  
> in a portable way.  Presumably the most popular of these optional  
> libraries would come to be bundled with all the common  
> implementations, so they would be a de facto standardized programming  
> base.

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