what is scheme not good for 
Author Message
 what is scheme not good for

There was recently a thread about what scheme is good for.
Didier said that the question should be "what is scheme not good for".
I agree. What is scheme not good for?

I mean, there is even a raytracer written in scheme with lots of
calculations. So, again, what is scheme not good for?
Writing devices?, GUI`s?, real-time systems?

bo



Tue, 07 May 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 what is scheme not good for
I don't think Scheme is very good as a document markup language.
Parentheses aren't as clear for that purpose as the explicit start/end
tags of SGML and LaTeX.  I would only use it in that context if the data
was more program than markup.

In its entirety, Scheme is much harder to optimize for database queries
than a more restrictive language like SQL.

Scheme is not good for writing poetry.

R5RS is much too light to make an effective doorstop.

The more I think about it, the clearer it is that Scheme is not good for
much of anything except writing computer programs.

--
(define (b l) (begin (display (string-append (make-string (- 40 (quotient
  (string-length l) 2)) #\space) l)) (newline))) (for-each b '("" "Bruce Lewis"
  "MIT 1990" "<URL:http://web.mit.edu/brlewis/www/>"))



Tue, 07 May 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 what is scheme not good for

Quote:

> There was recently a thread about what scheme is good for.
> Didier said that the question should be "what is scheme not good for".
> I agree. What is scheme not good for?

> I mean, there is even a raytracer written in scheme with lots of
> calculations. So, again, what is scheme not good for?
> Writing devices?, GUI`s?, real-time systems?

Well, I was talking seriously !
Scheme is a small language, e.g. have you tried to do
binary I/O  in Scheme  ?
Can you write definitions  of the C  stdio functions fread and fwrite
with read-char ??

I like  to program with Scheme but now and then I  need to write
some C code (and make it a  non R5RS primitive)

Didier



Tue, 07 May 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 what is scheme not good for

Quote:

> Scheme is a small language, e.g. have you tried to do
> binary I/O  in Scheme  ?
> Can you write definitions  of the C  stdio functions fread and fwrite
> with read-char ??

I have tried _bit_ i/o in Scheme, and succeeded:
        ((make-bit-reader byte-reader) n)
reads n bits from the source and returns them as an integer. n can be
1, 2, 3, ... 9, 13, .. whatever. byte-reader is either related to read-
char, or implemented otherwise. The ability to read a variable number of
bits is handy when dealing with compressed data and similar bitstreams.

Example:
  (define bit-reader (make-bit-reader (lambda () #b11000101)))
  (bit-reader 3) ==> 6
  (bit-reader 4) ==> 2
Again, the number of bits to read may as well be greater than 8 (and
greater than 16 for that matter).

        http://pobox.com/~oleg/ftp/Scheme/bit-reader.scm

I wrote this function four years ago; I can implement it far better
today. Still it works well as it is; I use it for example, to read GRIB
files (and convert them to vis5d files).

Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.



Wed, 08 May 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 what is scheme not good for

;
;Scheme is not good for writing poetry.

If Valery were among us he surely would have argued differently.



Wed, 08 May 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 what is scheme not good for

Quote:

>R5RS is much too light to make an effective doorstop.

Well, I don't know much about American doors, except that they tend to
open the wrong way, i.e. inwards, but I've found; if you fold R5RS in
half, and use it in a wedge like fashion, then it can indeed make a
good, perhaps even excellent, door stop.

As was said in another thread, don't blame the language, or its
specification, when it the application of the technology that is
faulty. ;-)

Stefan,
--
Stefan Axelsson                         Chalmers University of Technology

(Remove "rmovt.rply" to send mail.)



Wed, 08 May 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 what is scheme not good for

Quote:

>There was recently a thread about what scheme is good for.
>Didier said that the question should be "what is scheme not good for".
>I agree. What is scheme not good for?

>I mean, there is even a raytracer written in scheme with lots of
>calculations. So, again, what is scheme not good for?
>Writing devices?, GUI`s?, real-time systems?

sorry to say it that harsh:
scheme is not good for being used in companies or writing commercial
applications.

the language is too rich, the libs too small, there are too much
competing implementations and libraries. the stuff what is really needed
for work is not standardized and mostly different amongst the available
implementations.

the commercial vendors (if there are any) or communities are too weak in
comparison to the perl/python/gnu c community, common lisp or
sun/imprise/microsoft.

you get no developers and co-workers to maintain or help.

but it's very good for teaching purposes, prototyping or one-man shows
(if companies accept that).
--
Reini Urban
http://xarch.tu-graz.ac.at/autocad/news/faq/autolisp.html



Wed, 08 May 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 what is scheme not good for

Quote:

> sorry to say it that harsh:
> scheme is not good for being used in companies or writing commercial
> applications.

We use it for web sites and we are using the Scheme shell
for scripting.

Ask Cadence why they are using Scheme in an extremely
large system.

Quote:
> the commercial vendors (if there are any)

See for example http://www.scheme.com/ for the commercial
Scheme system from Cadence.

Quote:
> you get no developers and co-workers to maintain or help.

I think you are wrong.

Rainer Joswig, ISION Internet AG, Harburger Schlossstra?e 1,
21079 Hamburg, Germany, Tel: +49 40 77175 226



Wed, 08 May 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 what is scheme not good for

Quote:

> the language is too rich, the libs too small, there are too much
> competing implementations and libraries. the stuff what is really
> needed for work is not standardized and mostly different amongst the
> available implementations.

I think a lot of this post tends towards FUD, but this part is good
commentary, I think.  It's frustrating having a lot of pretty good
implementations out there, but having no standard for modules,
objects, and things of that ilk.  No one argues or debates over "which
Perl" to use - or even where to get ahold of extensions!  Everyone
knows they can go to CPAN and find something relative to what they are
trying to do, in all probability.

Two things I personally want out of a scripting language: a good hash
table implementation, and the ability to embed/extend in C, *without*
being as intrusive as Guile is (taking over your main function,
basically).

Ciao,
--



Thu, 09 May 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 what is scheme not good for

Quote:

> Two things I personally want out of a scripting language: a good hash
> table implementation, and the ability to embed/extend in C, *without*
> being as intrusive as Guile is (taking over your main function,
> basically).

You want bigloo.

david rush
--
And that's my religious commentary for the day...



Fri, 10 May 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 what is scheme not good for
Hi,

although i'm a "Scheme newbie", i'd like to comment your mail

Quote:

> There was recently a thread about what scheme is good for.
> Didier said that the question should be "what is scheme not good for".
> I agree. What is scheme not good for?

Scheme is not good for writing *fast* programs or 3d action games.
Scheme is not good for all the things that have nothing to do with
computers.
Scheme is not good for text parsing.
Scheme is not good for writing compilers.
Scheme is not good for building knowledge bases.
Scheme is not good for data mining.
Scheme is not good for me :)

Quote:
>I mean, there is even a raytracer written in scheme with lots of
> calculations.

Scheme is not good for writing a raytracer.
Although one may exist, i believe other languages are far
better for writing one.

Quote:
> bo

Read ya,

    Tobias



Fri, 10 May 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 what is scheme not good for

Quote:

> Scheme is not good for writing *fast* programs or 3d action games.
> Scheme is not good for all the things that have nothing to do with
> computers.
> Scheme is not good for text parsing.
> Scheme is not good for writing compilers.
> Scheme is not good for building knowledge bases.
> Scheme is not good for data mining.
> Scheme is not good for me :)

I'm sure glad I learned Scheme on my own instead of having it shoved
down my throat in school.

-thant



Fri, 10 May 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 what is scheme not good for

Quote:


> > Scheme is not good for writing *fast* programs or 3d action games.
> > Scheme is not good for all the things that have nothing to do with
> > computers.
> > Scheme is not good for text parsing.
> > Scheme is not good for writing compilers.
> > Scheme is not good for building knowledge bases.
> > Scheme is not good for data mining.
> > Scheme is not good for me :)

> I'm sure glad I learned Scheme on my own instead of having it shoved
> down my throat in school.

I'm sure glad school introduced me to things I'd never heard of (like
Scheme), instead
of leaving me to remain ignorant my entire life.


Fri, 10 May 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 what is scheme not good for

Quote:



> > > Scheme is not good for me :)

> > I'm sure glad I learned Scheme on my own instead of having it shoved
> > down my throat in school.
> I'm sure glad school introduced me to things I'd never heard of
> (like Scheme), instead of leaving me to remain ignorant my entire
> life.

A lot of people are attracted to learning, and learn, for the sheer
sake of it, and will do it regardless of school:-)

Ciao,
--



Fri, 10 May 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 what is scheme not good for

Quote:



>> > Scheme is not good for writing *fast* programs or 3d action games.
>> > Scheme is not good for all the things that have nothing to do with
>> > computers.
>> > Scheme is not good for text parsing.
>> > Scheme is not good for writing compilers.
>> > Scheme is not good for building knowledge bases.
>> > Scheme is not good for data mining.
>> > Scheme is not good for me :)

>> I'm sure glad I learned Scheme on my own instead of having it shoved
>> down my throat in school.

>I'm sure glad school introduced me to things I'd never heard of (like
>Scheme), instead of leaving me to remain ignorant my entire life.

I suspect you're missing the point.

One problem with common school-based presentations of things like Scheme
appears to be that it fills many students with strong feelings *against*
Scheme.  

For some reason, whether due to poor pedagogy, poor teaching, or poor
student selection, a substantial percentage of students acquire remarkably
strong prejudices that those that are exposed to Scheme (or Lisp) on a more
"voluntary" basis don't seem to develop.

My speculation is that university presentations of Lisp-like languages
are *commonly* hamstrung by the consideration that they present Lisp as
"a language that is solely about recursion and list manipulation."

This has the result that the students see Lisp as being an annoying
language where all you do is (car list) and (cdr list), perhaps with
a (let ((a b)) (whatever a)) or two.  

Based on such presentations:
--> Lisp is an interpreted language (or might as well be), and is SLOW.
--> It has only a few control structures, and you have to spend
    all your time figuring out recursions
--> It doesn't have the useful data structures that ancient languages
    like Pascal offer, such as "records," or C "structs," or C++
    "classes."
--> Arrays?  Not pedagogically interesting in a presentatio of Lisp.
--> Hash tables?  They may be in Perl and Python, but they're not part
    of R5RS, so they don't exist.

None of these "facts" are true, particularly not for Common Lisp,
which includes all of these features as part of the CL standard, but if
one's exposure to Scheme is limited to a four week module in a course
on comparative programming languages, it is unlikely that students
will get around to encountering vectors, hash tables, loops, or the
notion of going on to defining your own functions (or macros!) to build
application-specific abstractions.

If the only exposure people get is 3 weeks in which they'll be fighting
with CAR and CDR, it should be no surprise that we get stuff like the
above set of "things Scheme isn't good at."

I picked up SICP after finishing my formal education; it disappoints
me in two ways that conform with the above:
  -> It barely gets around to touching on vectors, spending one page
     on them on page 534;
  -> It never gets around to mentioning hashing.  And it displeases me
     that hash tables are not part of R*RS.
Despite those criticisms, SICP is still one of the greatest books on
computer science.

But a few pages of material on analysis of the use of vector-related
data structures, along with an assessment of complexity of CPU and
memory usage, would have gone a *long* way.

Four weeks of Scheme isn't enough to get past CAR/CDR.  Four months
would probably get people "over the hump," and beyond the prejudices.
--
"Even more amazing  was the realization that God  has Internet access.
I wonder if He has a full newsfeed?"  -- Matt Welsh



Sat, 11 May 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 
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