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Re: What's so cool about Scheme?

Steve Dekorte wrote:

> I got this book based on a similar recommendation from a friend. IMO, 
> it's a book about how to implement a Scheme in Scheme. About 20 of the 
> 500+ pages are about OO and basically just show how to emulate them 
> with case statements in Scheme. 

First of all, this isn't quite fair: the book describes various
calling conventions, etc, that aren't Scheme's.  Also, 1/e describes
control primitives that you could build with macros and continuations
in Scheme, but that are implemented natively in the book.

Second, saying it's "about how to implement a Scheme in Scheme" is
potentially misleading.  It does cover meta-circular interpreters, but
it also does some amount of syntactic interpretation.  The latter
makes the interpreter essentially language independent.

Finally, 1/e's handling of OO is weak, but 2/e gets religion.  (It
elides some of that esoteric control and compilation material, though,
to create a more concise but less enriching book.  Less fat, but also
less moral fiber.)

Shameless Plug: If you're interested in notes that (a) don't rely on
meta-circularity and (b) cover types with much more perspective, see


To be revised again in 2003.