Re: Uses for scheme

From: Kumar Balachandran <>
Date: 26 Mar 1997 09:16:19 -0500 (Matthew R Wette) writes:

> In article <01bc3622$c0ea4da0$d57f2dc7_at_stanton>, Stephen Tanton
> <> wrote: >> Scheme is useful any time you need a
> small, clean, expressive, >> interactive programming language. The
> Virtual Reality team at >> Walt Disney Imagineering uses a
> combination of Scheme and C++ in >> their VR implementation. I've
> heard that people at Microsoft are >> using Scheme to analyze legacy
> C code. I've also heard that JPL >> is using Scheme to program
> robots. Scheme would have made a much >> better Java than Java, but
> it didn't look enough like C++. I know of a LISP effort (not
> Scheme). There is currently a project under development (to launch
> next year some time) which may use LISP for the Remote Agent, which
> will make the spacecraft autonomous. It includes a planner, a smart
> executive and a model identification and reconfiguration system.

Some of us use Scheme (STk) instead of Perl, sed or awk for any kind
of scripting -- mainly because we are more comfortable with a
Lisp-like syntax. Web access to some of our databases are done
through a home-brewed interface to Postgres known as pg-stk
( ) and developed by Raymond Toy.

Great idea:
It is also possible to use foreign function interfaces to couple
Scheme with a library of C functions for simulations -- control
systems, networks, communication links. The functions themselves are
dynamically linked to a scheme MOP such as stklos, and communicate
between each other using the Unix socket interface. Multithreading or
forking would allow the ability to spread load over multiple machines
or processers, while the Scheme script has the ability to inspect,
alter and display data, as well as to facilitate quick prototyping.

The only product in the market that comes close to achieving this
functionality is a package marketed by Mathworks known as Matlab. For
a long time, this package provided a single data structure, a matrix,
and a scripting and graphical display interface. The scripting
language is a joke by any standards -- it is interactive and
vectorised Fortran. Until the latest version, the package was
incapable of handling even multi-dimensional arrays. Today, it
provides some C++ like extension abilities -- such as user-defined
structures. As machines get faster, the speed of the program ceases to
be an issue, specially when the time in writing and debugging a script
is so much better. Also, the key element in a successful simulation
tool is easy visualisation of data. In our group, Matlab is used by
several people as a simulation tool.


Kumar Balachandran
Advanced Development and Ph. (919)472-7781
Research Group Fax (919)472-6555
Ericsson, Inc.
PO Box 13969
7001 Development Drive,
RTP, NC 27709

Received on Wed Mar 26 1997 - 15:15:37 CET

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