[r6rs-discuss] voting process prequel
samth at ccs.neu.edu
Wed Oct 29 09:08:23 EDT 2008
On Wed, Oct 29, 2008 at 12:45 AM, Elf <elf at ephemeral.net> wrote:
> On Tue, 28 Oct 2008, Mitchell Wand wrote:
>>> From: Elf <elf at ephemeral.net>
>>> To: r6rs-discuss at r6rs.org
>>> Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2008 03:29:07 -0700 (PDT)
>>> Subject: [r6rs-discuss] voting process prequel
>>> notable issue with the announcement and voting process: what, precisely,
>>> is the role of the steering committee, and how does it differ from the
>>> role of the editors? i cannot seem to find a document explaining the current (and future) roles of both parties.
>> The roles of the steering committee and the editors committee are
>> explained in detail in the Charter. This *used* to be available on
>> schemers.org, but it seems to be hiding from me right now.
>> It's not that long, but it's too long to post here, so I've put a copy
>> online at http://www.ccs.neu.edu/home/wand/charter.txt .
>> I'll try to get this fixed up, so there are links on www.r6rs.org, in
>> the voting procedure document, etc.
> Oke, thank you for posting this. I now think I have a clearer idea of the
> roles. Some questions, then:
I'm not on any of the committees, but here are some answers.
> 1) Which Steering Committee member(s) are leaving?
The whole of the Steering Cmte is being elected. Therefore, none of
the Steering Cmte. members are remaining in office, except in that
they might run for election.
> 2) When was the Steering Committee and Editors process established? Can
> someone post a brief history of the processes by which the historical
> RnRS reports were standardised, and how the current process was decided?
This history has been presented in numerous places, including in the
See here: http://www.r6rs.org/final/html/r6rs-rationale/r6rs-rationale-Z-H-3.html#node_chap_1
Suffice it to say, the previous process became dormant after the
publication of the R5RS in 1998, and a new process was begun by the
attendees of the 2002 and 2003 Scheme workshops.
> 2a) If there were a significantly different set of processes for the previous
> RnRS (n <= 5) standardisation efforts, what was the rationale for changing
> to the current one?
This history has also been covered, for example, in a talk Mike Sperber's given.
1. The previous standardization process was, at the time, dormant -
there are no posts to the rrrs-authors list after 1998.
2. The consensus-driven process failed to reach consensus on important
issues, such as records and modules.
3. The process included anyone who wanted to join, which was no longer
reasonable given the current size of the community.
> 2b) If the process for R6 strongly differed from the previous processes, I
> would suggest fairly drastic modifications to the Charter and
> standardisation process itself.
The process for the R6RS did significantly differ. If you would like
it to be changed, it can be changed by unanimous vote of the Steering
Committee, so you could vote for candidates who want to amend it.
> 3) I am concerned about excessive democracy in standardisation processes
> without some form of check to prevent fiascos like Common Lisp (sorry)
> or the political and social effects of R6RS. What checks can be put into
> place to prevent future scenarios like the one currently encountered, if
> a popular vote is to be the method of selection?
The current process has significant checks. The R6RS document was not
democratically written. The approval process was chosen
non-democratically by the Steering Committee. The composition of the
Editors Committee was (and presumably will be) chosen
non-democractically by the Steering Committee.
Where do you think there was excessive democracy in the R6RS process?
Would you have preferred it if the Steering Committee had simply
approved the R6RS without a vote?
> 3a) How soon will a Steering Committee actually have a new set of tasks? R6RS
> is less than half a year old.
That's presumably up to the Steering Committee and the Editors that
they select to decide.
> 3b) What is the unifying concept of Scheme going to be? What is the desired
> direction? How can the dichotomy between the purists and the applications
> people be resolved? I think that these are the fundamental questions that
> must be addressed before any further decisions or discussions are
Scheme is now, and has been for at least the last 10 years, a family
of closely related languages. That will continue, regardless of the
actions of any committees. Many members of the community strongly
disagree about what the important problems Scheme faces are, and what
the best solutions to them are. That will also continue.
As to where future Scheme standards will come down on these questions,
that is up to the people who create those standards, some of whom we
will elect in this election.
samth at ccs.neu.edu
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