[r6rs-discuss] What's up with the library names?
R. Kent Dybvig
dyb at cs.indiana.edu
Thu May 24 09:58:52 EDT 2007
> Future editors should be
> able to completely reorganize the names and contents of the
> standard libraries and that would break none of the existing r6rs
> libraries (assuming the syntax and semantics of the library system
> itself remains intact).
I believe that the current proposal actually gives the r7rs editors more
rather than less flexibility.
In particular, it allows the r7rs editors to use the same name for a
library if the new version just adds functionality, since added
functionality cannot cause backward compatibility problems beyond,
possibly, easily resolved duplicate binding problems resulting from
additional exported identifiers. For programmers, in this case, migrating
from the r6rs to r7rs versions of the library will be painless or nearly
It also allows them to release a library under the same name if more
radical changes are involved in cases where they believe that the r6rs and
r7rs functionality cannot coexist, thereby preventing programs from
attempting to use both versions in the same program.
It doesn't prevent them from reorganizing the libraries and changing
names, although, for the affected libraries, they will probably want to
use a set of names that is disjoint from the r6rs set. This is no big
deal, since there are so few names taken out of an infinite namespace.
Of course, they may try to reorganize and change functionality arbitrarily
while reusing the same set of names, unnecessarily preventing programs
from using both r6rs and r7rs libraries, but I doubt they'll get away with
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