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Re: Libraries and repositories

That is a good point.  If something works on all platforms
already no one is tempted to do a separate implementation.

Maybe there is just something about Lisp that encourages
new versions though, because there are lots of Common Lisp
and Scheme implementations for the same hardware.  I think 
there are just a certain number of people out there who want 
to work on writing Lisp compilers, and they're each going to
write their own no matter what you do...

--- Adam Turoff <ziggy@panix.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Dec 19, 2001 at 03:17:50PM -0800, Paul Graham wrote:
> > Much as I would want to agree with an argument that praises
> > Scheme and disses Java, I suspect that the real problem is
> > that Scheme is (currently) ruled by a committee and Java
> > isn't.  If the Scheme committee got together and blessed a
> > huge collection of libraries as an official part of the 
> > next version of the language, they would soon come included
> > with anything that dared to call itself Scheme.  They're
> > not likely to, though; look how long they dithered about
> > macros, and what they ended up with.
> Why is it when Lispers get together and discuss what languages
> need, the discussion turns to arguments about macro systems within
> about 5 posts?  :-)
> Tony's point (if I'm paraphrasing correctly) is that Java is
> irreproducible thanks to a hefty library that comes with the language
> definition; Perl is irreproducible because the syntax is so grotty;
> Scheme isn't standardized because it is so easily reproducible (a
> task frequently assigned to undergrads).
> Committees aren't the problem.  Large standard libraries aren't
> the problem.  Ease of implementation isn't the problem.  They're
> all second-order effects of interoperability (or lack thereof).
> Perl hasn't been reimplemented yet, not because of it's syntax and
> not because of CPAN, but because it hasn't been necessary.  Perl
> is the canonical standard of a single implementation, and is
> ludicrously cross-platform and interoperable.  Java has
> interoperability
> fused into it's DNA -- through the abstraction of the JVM and the 
> legal hoops implementers must jump through before gaining Sun's
> blessing.
> If Scheme were to acquire a 20-volume standard library overnight, it
> wouldn't help one iota.  That's because it's not the library that
> matters, but the interoperability -- across platforms, across
> implementations or both.  If however the Scheme committee or a single
> individual were to rally around a 20-page paper on a standardized
> module system (er,
> http://www.htus.org/Book/Staging/how-to-use-modules/),
> then things would be different.
> > The wind has shifted.  Languages have more in them, and change
> > faster, than you can do with a committee.
> Languages have more than you can do with a single language designer.
> Focus on extensibility and interoperability and it's not a huge
> problem.
> Z.

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