[R6RS] Re: Zapping SET-CAR! & SET-CDR!

Marc Feeley feeley
Tue Oct 26 12:16:29 EDT 2004

> >>>>> "Marc" == Marc Feeley <feeley at IRO.UMontreal.CA> writes:
> Marc> As I recall few people voted,
> I recall differently.

Will, do you have the result of the vote?

> Marc> so I don't think we should give it any significance.
> When you get a poll result like this on an issue like this ("should we
> break a lot of your programs by taking away a piece of functionality
> you're used to") I attach a great deal of significance to it.

But only if people actually understand the ramifications of this
change, and I don't think they had enough time to really understand
and evaluate the ramifications.

> But aside from that, what I was really asking for was the editors'
> *opinions*.  So far, only Kent and Manuel have provided theirs.

If Scheme was being redesigned from scratch I would probably be in
favor.  In fact I would also make strings immutable and interned
(i.e. get rid of strings and characters and keep only symbols).  But
if we did these changes Scheme as we know it would change
considerably.  Moreover, as I pointed out at the workshop, the #n= and
#n# syntaxes for shared structures that contain lists, could not be
implemented in Scheme (you need set-car! and set-cdr! for that).

> Marc> The only vote which has meaning is the one on case-sensitivity.
> Marc> People know the issue (several Scheme systems default to a
> Marc> case-sensitive reader, and many have a switch to enable/disable
> Marc> a case-sensitive reader).
> That doesn't indicate people know the issue at all.

Well we can never really know for sure when someone knows an issue or
not.  But if users have some experience with languages that are
case-sensitive (who hasn't?), and case-insensitive (standard Scheme),
and probably Scheme systems that are both depending on a switch, or
that have moved form a case-insensitive to a case-sensitive default
mode in the recent past, then I say these users have at least some
opinion on the topic.  Just the reaction from the audience when I was
polling on this issue suggests that people wanted and were ready to
vote on the issue.


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