[r6rs-discuss] voting process
bear at sonic.net
Mon Nov 3 13:19:06 EST 2008
On Mon, 2008-11-03 at 12:23 -0500, Marc Feeley wrote:
> I meant divergent opinions on the "soul" of Scheme and on the goals.
> In other words fundamentally divergent opinions on Scheme and the
> design process. The message(s) from the SC to the EC must be clear
> and direct. That will simply not happen if there is discord at the SC
> level. Divergent opinions are good, and necessary, as long as the SC
> members are comfortable in discussing the issues to converge on a
> common position, but fundamentally divergent opinions will kill the
> process. I believe the EC can tolerate more divergence of opinion.
> Here too it can be a problem that stalls the process, but the SC can
> step in in those cases.
I see in R6RS a repudiation of the spirit of Scheme - and also
a poor standards document.
In part this was because there was insufficient effort to
respond to divergent opinions or to draft a general standard
suitable for implementing scheme on diverse platforms. Ideas
for resolving conflicts got ignored without technical response
as the processed rushed to adopt specific proposals. The
standard itself was passed while still containing known errors
There was an opportunity to create a document that specified a
(drastically simplified) "core scheme" and pushed all controversial
items out to libraries which are, in principle separable and
interchangeable. This was not done. The "core language"
specified in R6 is not simpler and contains many controversial
elements that could have been placed in libraries. The library
of functions is monolithic, inseparable, and there is no way
to create any alternatives to any part of it. This is not just
a failure, it is an epic failure. And no amount of effort
seemed capable of convincing any of the editors that there was
any better way to do things.
In this process, I felt that whatever input I (and several others
whose design sense I respect) made was ignored or treated as a
mere obstacle. I was frustrated with the process and I am
unsatisfied with its result. I am not emotionally ready to repeat
the investment of work at this time, and I do not feel that such
an investment of work would be very likely to give better results
at this time. Moving into the process, as I would, on the defensive,
still stinging with frustration, and with reduced expectations that
good ideas will actually be listened to, would not make me a "nice"
person to work with and would be unlikely to elicit my best
Also, I feel that it's necessary for its supporters to have enough
time to take new positions. I don't want them defending Bad
Ideas merely because they defended them before and can't
stomach admitting that they were wrong. I think they need a
year or two more to first understand and then get over how badly
they screwed up.
As far as I'm concerned, R6RS was a waste of effort on my part
and I don't want to touch it again until I'm pretty sure the
rest of the world has fully appreciated its flaws. Only with
that realization will people be truly ready to try and fix it
and future effort less likely to be wasted.
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