POS, OOFS, CL v Scheme, etc.

Jordan Henderson jordan@Starbase.NeoSoft.COM
Mon, 12 May 1997 08:09:01 -0500 (CDT)

Marc Wachowitz writes:

> Obviously, if we're going towards this, we'll have to do a major
> surgery of the base language and will essentially need to think
> about the semantics of all existing functionality. If we're to
> do this, I'd indeed suggest to extend Scheme rather than Common
> Lisp, since a sufficiently careful and exhaustive review and re-
> implementation of Common Lisp would probably be beyond our short-
> term capacity (note that this would affect the optimizer deeply).
> On the other hand, Scheme is small enough to do this, and would
> also be more suitable in other ways for a "kernel Lisp" approach
> (or does anyone consider Common Lisp's state-based and mutable
> package system to fit into a mostly-functional environment? ;-).

If we are not using CL as a base, real, standard, CL, then Scheme,
I think, is a good choice for a base language.  There are several 
good Scheme->C compilers available that would allow us to get 
something up fairly quickly under the Flux toolkit.  It seems 
there's quite a bit of research doing threads using continuations.

> To preserve the value of existing knowledge, source code etc., I'd
> suggest to conform to R5RS (supposed to be published soon; I know
> that at least R4.95RS is already done). 

I've heard that R5RS has important extensions like multiple value return that 
some have found indispencible for real-world work.  Oh, and I've heard that
they've nailed down the macro system as well.

I keep hearing about R5RS.  Have all of the big Scheme project 
people been involved, at least from a standpoint of polling them
for necessary features to support what they need.  The big Scheme
project people would be SCSH, RScheme, Guile, MZScheme, Chez, others?
It would be tragic if R5RS came out and there were still serious
oversights and insufficiencies to allow real-world work.

So little specifics have been published about R5RS.  I read in 
comp.lang.scheme awhile back that someone >saw< a copy of R4.95RS, but
was told not to publish it.  Why not?  I heard that there was wide
agreement on what would go in to the standard some years ago, but it
was not adopted.  What's the holdup and why do we believe that it's
about to come out now?  Is there some upcoming meeting of the Scheme

> -- Marc Wachowitz <mw@ipx2.rz.uni-mannheim.de>

- Jordan Henderson