Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Scheme Grows Up

A few days ago it was announced that the next version of the Scheme programming language standard (R6RS) is available in draft form. The draft is quite a bit larger than the current standard (current: 50 pages, new: 142 pages!) and contains many useful features. Including:

  • Module/library support
  • Records, Hashtables and Enumerated types
  • A more sophisticated macro system
  • Improved IO, including a bit of Unicode support
  • And lots of other goodies...

It's true that most mature implementations of Scheme already had these features, but now they can be standard.

My, our little programming language is growing into the real thing. All while attempting to hold onto its original goals of clarity and elegance.

As the report continues to remind us:

Programming languages should be designed not by piling feature on top of feature, but by removing the weaknesses and restrictions that make additional features appear necessary.

How sad is that a 147 page language spec actually seems like it will make interesting reading?

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