[r6rs-discuss] R5RS is not a baseline
William D Clinger
will at ccs.neu.edu
Thu Feb 19 19:00:18 EST 2009
Matthias Felleisen wrote:
> 1. What super-duper majority do people need to accept that a vote has
> been decided?
That will be one of the main questions the next steering
committee must answer.
The R6RS process showed little respect for backward
compatibility and prior art, and needed only a 60%
supermajority in a single vote to ratify a pair of
If that precedent were continued, then an R7RS process
needn't show much respect for the R6RS, and would need
only a 60% supermajority in a single vote to ratify
R7RS documents that make arbitrarily large changes from
the R6RS (and all other documents and SRFIs etc).
In my opinion, that would not be a good process for
the long term. On the other hand, it doesn't seem
fair to treat the R6RS the same as documents that
have passed a higher bar. What to do?
Brian Harvey suggested we resolve this dilemma by
taking as our baseline some document that was approved
by a less contentious process than the R6RS. That
isn't the only way to proceed, but it would work and
was a good suggestion.
> 2. I don't think the word 'baseline' should be taken as
> 'unmodifiable, every feature stays.' Instead, I can see a voting
> procedure. If 60% of voters wish to remove a feature, it should go
> away. Or something like that.
That would also work, but 60% is such a low bar that
I don't think it would work for the long term. Maybe
changes introduced by the R6RS could be undone by a
vote of only 60%, because that was the threshold the
R6RS as a whole barely met, but for the long term we
need the stability provided by a higher threshold.
Furthermore we should not be content just because a
proposed standard has just barely passed by some such
supermajority. If serious technical objections are
raised to a draft, then it should be revised and put
to another vote even after it has passed its nominal
supermajority. We should aim for greatest consensus
that can be achieved in a timely fashion.
> 3. Baseline means that you don't repeat all the discussions for all
> the changes. You focus on the bad parts and leave the good parts alone.
Exactly. Brian's suggestion would achieve that. As
stated in my previous message, I am confident that the
good parts of the R6RS would garner the support of 75%,
so we wouldn't lose the good parts.
As for the bad parts, those are the parts we *need* to
More information about the r6rs-discuss