[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]


From: Mikael Djurfeldt
Subject: FOSDEM 2019
Date: Sun, 3 Feb 2019 22:34:55 +0100

It was a great experience and joy for me to meet some of you at FOSDEM 2019. Thank you all!

Now a piece of advice.

Everyone who works with Guile knows that it's crap and look with envy at projects like Chez and Racket, right? Jim Blandy thinks that GNU should use Python as its scripting language. Chris Webber (probably rightly) thinks "look how much you can accomplish with Racket so quickly".

I've been there also. I have to confess that I have now and again regarded Guile as crap since perhaps 1995 and there has been multiple occasions where I have thought that basing the community effort on some other scheme would make much more sense, and I have also always looked with envy on Chez and mzscheme/Racket.

Yet, it is *amazing* to me how much progress Guile has made since I left. I, for example, *love* the new language and compiler infrastructure.

But note now that Racket looks with envy on Chez and intends to base Racket on Chez while Andy Wingo thinks that he can beat Chez performance.

My advice is this:

Idiots go around thinking that their own code is the best thing around. Sensible people have a natural, and actually productive, tendency to be critical about their own work. That is all good, unless it hurts the sense of meaning and joy in your work.

Remember now first that we are all irrational creatures. We maybe *think* sometimes that we are rational, because what we think looks rational in our view. The problem is that the view is usually very limited, with, for example, a limited set of presumptions.

For example: Guile is a piece of software, right? Wrong! It is a plant, growing over time. Now, if we look over the fence into the other garden, the plants there look much greener. But what will determine the ultimate fate is not only the shape of it in the present moment, but also the genes it carries, the quality of the soil, the amount of sunlight and the skills of its gard[i]ners. We could have quit before we got GOOPS, or before we got the native threading, or before the compiler tower, without which there would be no chance to beat Chez.

If you look at one combination of some Guile features:

* easy embedding in applications
* support for multiple languages
* the compiler tower
* OO system with polymorphic dispatch and metaobject protocol
* nice, friendly and open community

I think it is pretty strong and impressive, and I wouldn't like to live without it. It's especially important to look at Guile as a good breeding ground for new amazing work.

That said, we should steal and collaborate all we can!

All the best,

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]