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Re: Re : [Chicken-users] other leading Schemes

From: Brandon J. Van Every
Subject: Re: Re : [Chicken-users] other leading Schemes
Date: Sat, 03 Feb 2007 09:46:08 -0800
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20061207)

minh thu wrote:
At least with the mainstream languages, there's money in them, you can
get paid for them.  If you accidentally become well versed in the trivia
of C++, Java, or C#, you can make big $$$$$$ at that.

Do you mean being employed ? Or at least working for out sourced
project, not in-house project (i.e. the language used is of importance
for the one who ordered the project) ?

With a marginal language like Scheme, nobody cares.  You go hungry.

Same question.

Yes I mean being employed or contracting. I don't think it's easy to get into a position to choose literally any language you like, where the choice of language doesn't matter. Most projects have ongoing maintenance concerns. They don't want Scheme because not many programmers know it. They don't want Chicken because few people are developing it. Now there are indeed some problem domains where most code is throwaway, or at least perceived to be throwaway. Web administration comes to mind. Several languages have arisen for this sort of task: Perl, Python, Ruby. But I don't think that's what Chicken really has to offer the world. I see it as a systems language rather than a scripting language, an alternative to C++.

I'm not ready to give up on Chicken yet, or open source in general.  I
think there must be a profitable business model in it somewhere.  But
I'm quite aware of all the support and R&D jobs that must get done, to
make a language that really is pleasant to use.  So I see community
organization as key.

You mean the language is not useable as-is...

I think Chicken could be good for 3D game development. But it's still all theory; nobody has done anything with it. My needs are all about game development. The barrier I keep facing, is the boredom of OpenGL bindings. Granted there are problems beyond Chicken here as well. Build on top of Glew or Glee so that I don't need to do elaborate function pointer dances on Windows? Build on FLTK so I don't have to deal with system-specific windowing issues? Build on an open source 3D engine so I don't have to do one from scratch? And thereby sacrifice most of the benefits of Scheme, getting stuck with their ways of implementing lists, scene graphs, and memory management? Or do most of these things from scratch in Scheme so that it's "better" and other Scheme developers will glom on to Chicken? This sort of stuff is not very exciting. I see a lot of work doing infrastructure without much gain.

If I had 5 people banging on OpenGL gruntwork problems, none of us would have to suffer much. But probably there aren't 5 such people in the Chicken community. I may be on my own here.

There's a form of the Stag Hunt problem here. I can inventory everyone's skills, but what if nobody has skills of use to me personally? It would be better for me personally, to organize people with the skills I need, and recruit them from outside the Chicken community if they're not available here. But focusing narrowly on my needs, doesn't lay any groundwork for the Chicken community to grow.

On the other hand, who's actually expressed interest in an inventory of community skills yet? So far, no one. Now, perhaps everyone's just trying to figure out what I'm on about, why it should be bothered with, and what we might gain from it.

Academics and students don't feel these issues.  They've got financial
support for their work.  So they can work on languages like Scheme that
don't make most people any money.

... but is ok for non-making-money work. right ?

Sure. Just about every broken thing is ok if you don't care how many hours you're spending wasting your time.

Brandon Van Every

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