Re: 3.99.3

From: Christian Lynbech <>
Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 09:00:17 +0200 (MET DST)

While the idea of pulling together on one system is appealing, I do
not think it will ever happen.

The different implementations are too far apart in their goals and
architectures. A true merge will require the different camps to
compromise and that is simply not going to happen.

Just try to imagine the scheme crowd trying to agree on what kind of
OO system such a common implementation should support (and no, just
throwing them all in isn't going to make things better). Don't forget,
the fathers of R4RS left out macros because there was no perfect
solution to the numerous limitations of the old-style defmacro (which
of course led to each implementation having its own variation on the

Even merging STk and Guile will be difficult, even if they have the
same ancestor. Could be that STk is a leaner and meaner implementation
than Guile, but I think that Guile rocks in some other such as
debugging and posix interfacing. If we moved all that to STk, would
STk then still be that much leaner and meaner?

I think that Perl and TCL was able to steal the show because the core
schemers is/was more into beauty and elegance than into the dreary
details of real-world scripting. This isn't necessarily bad in itself,
but it has not helped scheme attend the audience it deserves.

IMHO what we need is more a broader standard such that programs become
more portable, rather than a single unified implementation. CLTL2 may
be big but one can sure get a lot longer in pure CLTL2 than in pure
R4RS. I also think it will happen. STk has shown the way in CLOS style
OO, it will make its way into guile, perhaps into others. Module
systems are being worked on, eventually one will dominate. FFI is
being worked on etc.

In time, we will overcome the problems. Lisp is not as big as java,
probably never will be, but it isn't dead.

Christian Lynbech | Telebit Communications A/S
Fax: +45 8628 8186 | Fabrik 11, DK-8260 Viby J
Phone: +45 8628 8177 + 28 | email: --- URL:
Hit the philistines three times over the head with the Elisp reference manual.
                                        - (Michael A. Petonic)
Received on Tue Oct 06 1998 - 09:01:06 CEST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Mon Jul 21 2014 - 19:38:59 CEST