Info Dylan Digest Digest V1 #127 
Author Message
 Info Dylan Digest Digest V1 #127

On Sun,  3 Oct 93 04:00:03 EDT,
Scott Fahlman said:
SEF>> I should mention that in my own view, the Scheme "small is beautiful"
SEF>> viewpoint (in its most rabid form, anyway) is dead wrong for fast
SEF>> prototyping and evolutionary development.  For complex tasks, programmers'
SEF>> ability to get things done quickly and reliably is directly proportional to
SEF>> the availability of chunks of pre-existing functionality that they can use.
SEF>> The mistake in Common Lisp was that we bundled it all into the base
SEF>> language with no obvious boundaries to help the beginner.  A better plan, I
SEF>> think, is to have a small, reasonably elegant base language (the universal
SEF>> glue) and a huge set of libraries with every useful thing you can think of,
SEF>> plus some good librarian software to help you find things in this space.
SEF>> that's the vision that we're working toward.

SEF>> -- Scott

I think that this is an eminently reasonable position, but I just
thought someone should add the caveat that the Scheme community (at
least those members not actively foaming at the mouth :->) believes
this as well: witness the availability of the portable Scheme library
SLIB, which is quasi-official in precisely the way SEF suggests...



Fri, 22 Mar 1996 23:30:13 GMT  
 Info Dylan Digest Digest V1 #127

    Scott Fahlman said:
    SEF>> I should mention that in my own view, the Scheme "small is beautiful"
    SEF>> viewpoint (in its most rabid form, anyway) is dead wrong for fast
    SEF>> prototyping and evolutionary development...

    I think that this is an eminently reasonable position, but I just
    thought someone should add the caveat that the Scheme community (at
    least those members not actively foaming at the mouth :->) believes
    this as well: witness the availability of the portable Scheme library
    SLIB, which is quasi-official in precisely the way SEF suggests...

Several people have pointed this out in private mail.  I think that most of
the leading Shemers understand the value of big, well organized libraries,
and SLIB is certainly evidence of that.  But I do think that many people --
especially the less experienced -- get caught up in the "small is
beautiful" rhetoric and miss this important distinction.  As I understand
it from eyewitness reports, the Scheme initiation ritual is to sit in a
circle around the Common Lisp manual and make gagging sounds and jokes
about how thick it is.  It's easy to lose track of the idea that all those
facilities give you a lot of power, if only you could find what you want
more easily and not have to carry it all around at runtime.

-- Scott
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Sat, 23 Mar 1996 09:37:13 GMT  
 
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