Time for a Fresh Scheme Standard: Say Goodbye to the RnRS Relic
erik at naggum.net
Sat Dec 22 13:45:25 CET 2001
* newscheme at hotmail.com (New Scheme)
| Its time to reinvigorate scheme.
No, it is not. It is time to leave Scheme behind. It used to be a
language that brought many new ideas into _one_ language, but all of the
good ideas have been picked up by other, better languages. Common Lisp,
Perl, Python, Ruby, and Java have all benefited from the little group of
impractical purists who designed this minimalistic language experiment.
Look, Tengwar is more widely used than Scheme these days. The features
unique to Scheme today are those that are universally considered bad
ideas. Worse: Perl, Python, Ruby, and Java have more of the Lisp nature
than Scheme does, whether they admit to it or not, and better developed
and more widely used to boot. It is time to close the book on Scheme and
let it wither and die, which it will if you leave the kind of people you
have seen respond to you alone to destroy it from within.
If you still want a functional programming paradigm, there are lots and
lots of more recent academic experiments that should be at least as
useless as Scheme for real work, but which could be a little harder to
teach, since they actually try to do _something_ and are not just trying
to make a language optimized for reimplementation of itself by students.
If you are not welcome in the Scheme community, take a hint: Leave. They
do not even need to be provoked to attack individual people, as you have
seen, so they are clearly bad people. Do not try to change bad people:
It makes the bad people worse and wastes your time (that is the lesson I
learned from trying to deal with Scheme freaks as if they were people).
Try instead to find good people who welcome the ability to think.
Ask yourself what you actually _like_ in Scheme. Chances are you can get
it, better implemented and better understood, in any number of other
languages. The only thing you probably cannot get in other languages is
a full implementation of the language itself done as a student project.
If you want that, just create your own language like everybody else who
has ever actually tried to used Scheme does, anyway.
The past is not more important than the future, despite what your culture
has taught you. Your future observations, conclusions, and beliefs are
more important to you than those in your past ever will be. The world is
changing so fast the balance between the past and the future has shifted.
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