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guile 2012

From: Andy Wingo
Subject: guile 2012
Date: Sat, 07 Jan 2012 03:34:39 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.3 (gnu/linux)

Greetings, Guilers!

I hope this message finds all of you well: you, and yours, and all the
beings in your lives.  It was really a pleasure to hack with yall last

It might be useful to reflect, at the start of this new year.  We should
look back, first.  In 2011, we released Guile 2.0: a huge effort, and a
great improvement over 1.8.  More than that, I really dig the energy
around Guile now, that we are many active people, caring about where
Scheme and Guile and GNU are going.

A few years ago, Guile was going through some tough times: declining
user base, performance problems, and lack of modern features.  But in
the last year or three we have really pulled together and delivered a
great Scheme system.  So many people have applied their talent and time
to Guile that it's really impossible to make a proper list, so let us
instead raise our symbolic cup to us all.  Thanks, us!

We should also take this moment to look forward, to our challenges and
opportunities.  I'll give my impressions, but feel very free to chime in
with your thoughts.

I think 2012 will be a good year for Guile.  We'll be solidifying the
2.0 series, even as we start producing the first pre-release or two of
2.2.  I would really love to get a register VM and a first stab at
native compilation out this year.  We'll see.

If I could vote for one thing to focus on in 2012, for the broader Guile
community, I'd pick two things ;-) I'd pick Guile in Emacs, first of
all.  We have the hack power, the time is right, and we just need to
focus on the task.  By the end of the year we could have a credible,
attractive offering.

The other thing I'd like for us to focus on, in a stable-2.0 sense,
would be the guildhall.  There's some hacking that needs to be done
there, but I'm hoping to get out a first workable prototype within a
month or two, then let the meta-maintenance be driven by patches, while
the repository of modules in the guildhall has time to grow and grow.
Help here is much appreciated! :-)

As far as challenges go, I think that we can make some projections based
on the last few months of 2011.  Specifically, I think that we will need
to focus on maintain a positive, constructive environment, both for old
and new Guilers.  Some of this focus will have to be directed in the
form of patches to the documentation.  Some of it will patch code, to
make Guile more approachable and coherent.  And some of it, a very
important part of it, will be spent in consciously maintaining a good
environment on the mailing lists, and in the chat rooms.  There will be
lots of new folks, with lots of questions.  We're going to grow this
year, and we're going to have to teach the new people about our
community, and about our software.  Let's all have patience and
positivity.  With luck, next year some of these newbies will be experts.

Again, speaking personally, 2011 has really been great.  We have done
some great things, and we should be proud of them.  It sounds terribly
cheesy, but hey: let's go on and make 2012 the best year Guile has had
yet :-)

Happy hacking,


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