[racket] R7RS and Racket in the (far) future

From: Robby Findler (robby at eecs.northwestern.edu)
Date: Sun Feb 10 18:05:33 EST 2013

Hi Da Gamer:

  I understood you to be asking an engineering question and let me try to
answer it that way. No. No chance. Why? Because something like 15 years of
solid engineering effort have gone into the implementation of the runtime
system and so changing it in a fundamental way like that would likely
introduce significant instability and for little value (both understood as
relative terms here). As always, such questions are best understood as
questions of "how much time do I have to put in and what will I get out of
it" and, in those terms, it seems hard to justify throwing away any
significant chunk of that 15 years. (Note that we have attempted something
like that 5 or so years ago with rebuilding on top of CLR and it failed for
these kinds of reasons).


On Sun, Feb 10, 2013 at 4:49 PM, Da Gamer <game_beta2003 at yahoo.com> wrote:

> I'm not sure if you misread my question, but I'll reclarify what I said.
> First, I know that Racket is its own language.
> Second, I'm not talking about R6RS. I was talking about *R7RS* small and
> large.
> Third, as someone who hasn't been in the Racket community long but knows
> that it is a Scheme variant, I don't see why there is an issue of asking
> such a question. Is there any need to be defensive and hostile? I can't see
> the idea being that outrageous, untenable, or completely unnecessary.
> Fourth, I said "in the future". As in has there been any thoughts on it.
> If yes and there was a decision not to go that route, then why not share
> why? Point out pros and cons, etc.
> In short, I don't need see why my question was taken as an "attack" on the
> language not as user's/student's curiosity.
> --- On *Sun, 2/10/13, Michael Wilber <mwilber at uccs.edu>* wrote:
> From: Michael Wilber <mwilber at uccs.edu>
> Subject: Re: [racket] R7RS and Racket in the (far) future
> To: "Da Gamer" <game_beta2003 at yahoo.com>, users at racket-lang.org
> Date: Sunday, February 10, 2013, 12:13 AM
> (disclaimer: i'm just a user; what i say doesn't reflect the rest of the
> community)
> "Racket" is a programming language lab. Both RxRS, and the rest of the
> "separate Racket language" that you allude to, are built on top of it,
> not the other way around.
> What would be the advantage of being built on top of R6RS? What you're
> proposing seems like just a semantic change to me. If it's because
> you're uncomfortable about Racket "messing with the standard", I really
> recommend that you take a look at this thread from last year and the
> related messages:
> http://lists.racket-lang.org/users/archive/2011-May/045448.html
> http://lists.racket-lang.org/users/archive/2011-May/045448.html
> As Neil Van Dyke wrote,
>    "When industry people come from other languages to look at Racket,
>     they've already placed Racket in their conceptual framework, where
>     "standard" is heavily loaded.  So, when these people read in Wikipedia
>     and memetic descendants of Wikipedia that R6RS is the "standard", even
>     though I think R6RS should be shot in the gut and left in a ditch to
> die
>     painfully, people naturally assume that R6RS is the obvious way to go.
>     "Use non-standard?!  Get back from me, you satan!"
>     So they spend the weekend trying to do something in R6RS, stumbling
> over
>     little headaches doing that in Racket, ask questions, and are
> suspicious
>     when Racket people try to tell them to just do things in a non-R6RS way
>     that sounds like sneaky "proprietary non-standard extensions lock-in
>     bad-engineering" salesmanship.  In a day or two, they've lost interest
>     or written off "Scheme", and they move on to the next interesting thing
>     to look at."
> Da Gamer <game_beta2003 at yahoo.com<http://mc/compose?to=game_beta2003@yahoo.com>>
> writes:
> > I was wondering if Racket at any point in the future will be libraries
> built from or on top of R7RS small and big proper (or any future standard
> RxRS really).  As opposed to being its own language.
> > ____________________
> >   Racket Users list:
> >   http://lists.racket-lang.org/users
> ____________________
>   Racket Users list:
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