Time for a Fresh Scheme Standard: Say Goodbye to the RnRS Relic

Erik Naggum 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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