CL functionality in SchemeOS

William Barnett-Lewis
Mon, 23 Mar 1998 20:16:05 -0600

Mainly, because too many are infatuated with the pretty picture of academic

Yep that's a bit inflammatory...

Yes, I have things about CL I don't like; OTOH, it does things, now, that
scheme only dreams of. In the end, much as VI only exists to edit your emacs
make file on a new unix, scheme only exists to bootstrap something like
BBN's CL code in scheme.

(Now if this don't get ya screaming, yer all brain dead!?!?!?!!!)

William wrote:

> [Snip -- discussions of ways to reinvent the wheel in Scheme rather
>  than use CL and save the wasted work]
> > >Some of Mark Kantrowitzs portable packages (such as defsystem and
> > >xref) should also be considered. Not because these facilities
> > >necessarily are The Right Solution (TM) but because metaprogramming is
> > >pretty much lacking in the scheme world (AFAIK).
> [Snip]
> >
> >   Then why pick Scheme?? If you want CL functionality, pick CL!
> >
> That's what I was thinking.  I mean here people are, talking
> about ways to leverage existing code, and to write as little
> as possible, and then when it really matters, at the very first
> step, they pick a language with little functionality just so
> they can waste time working on it to make it look like another
> language that already exists!
> What is wrong with this picture?
> As far as I can tell, there are 2 reasons I've seen people use
> to justify Scheme:
>         1) It is elegant.
>         2) It is small.
> For #1, elegance does not mean _CRAP_ if you can't get the job
> done.  Pascal was elegant but it was utterly useless and it
> died the embarassing death deserving of a toy language.
> Scheme isn't as useless as Pascal, but it is very low on
> functionality.  As much as I like Scheme's syntax and better
> treatment of functions, and more consistent (and logical)
> naming conventions, I would not even consider using it for
> real world work because it is too weak.  I use Common Lisp
> instead -- it gets the job done.
> And for #2, Scheme is small because it is lacking in functionality.
> Once you start hosing, patching, and munging to make it look like
> Common Lisp, it's gonna be a hell of a lot bigger.  So why bother?
> I agree, use Common Lisp instead.  It will save us work and
> headaches.
> Of course, to play devil's advocate, somebody did take a step
> with Scheme, and given the way this list has operated in the
> past, unless we get up off our butts and do something, the
> idea will die again.
> So we get up, use Scheme since some kind of foundation has
> been built, ignore everything I said about leadership, because
> I doubt this will happen and actually accomplish something
> for a change rather than exchange big (and soon to be forgotten)
> ideas.
> And now for the "do what I say, not what I do" segment.  I say
> this knowing that now I probably will not be able to contribute
> anything in the way of code.  Since everyone is geared up to use
> Linux, that leaves me out since I do not have Linux, and have no
> intention of putting it on my hard drive any longer.  I've had
> enough of Unix at work, and I like to go home and see something
> other than segmentation violations and ridiculously awful
> user interfaces.  Granted Win95 is no masterpiece, but then
> it's better than X (but then, what isn't?).
> If there's some way I can assist while using Win95, I'm here.
> Otherwise, it's been real (I will keep an eye on this list).
> >
> >   Mike McDonald
> >
> >
> Regards,
> Ahmed