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Re: ANN: Common-Scheme 0.3

From: Neil Jerram
Subject: Re: ANN: Common-Scheme 0.3
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2005 20:24:10 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.1007 (Gnus v5.10.7) Emacs/21.4 (gnu/linux)

Alex Shinn <address@hidden> writes:

> Thanks for your comments.  Which part do you think should be a SRFI?

The module system.  (As it happens, looking around today I discovered
Andre van Tonder's module system spec, which looks (to my superficial
eyes) quite similar to yours, and which is formatted as though it is
about to be submitted as a SRFI.  So it may be that a SRFI module
system will soon be in the pipeline anyway.)

> There are 3 aspects to Common-Scheme.
> The first is the module system.  There are in fact people who know
> much more than I do about module systems working on this.  Some
> day it will be submitted as a SRFI.  After intense flame wars, discussion
> will trail off, and in maybe 6 to 12 months the SRFI will be finalized.
> Following a period of time after that various implementations may or
> may not adopt the new system, with or without compatibilty for their
> existing module systems.
> In the meantime you can actually use Common-Scheme right now
> with a wide variety of implementations.  Worse case scenario is 2
> years down the line you make a small change to the headers of
> your code.

You summarize both sides of the argument very well.  I know the flame
wars are a pain, but I also know from Guile discussions how tricky
module systems are, so I suspect they're worth enduring.

To be honest, though, your comment above has made me realize that I'm
not yet your target audience.  For the next year my plans are
Guile-specific, so I can wait for the SRFI.  common-module probably
does meet the needs of people who can't wait until then, and it will
probably also provide a useful starting point for when it comes to
implementing an agreed module SRFI in various Scheme implementations.

> The third aspect is the peer-to-peer network (which if you've browser
> only has three modules at the moment, I'm in the process of converting
> more).  An important thing to remember about the Scheme community
> is its fragmented nature.  To embrace, rather than fight, this nature,
> Common-Schemes module system is decentralized peer-to-peet, and
> the core of the system itself is all public domain, so no one's in charge,
> and people are more free to do their own thing and still share their
> experiments than in any other package management system out there.

This aspect sounds very cool; I need to look more at it.


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