[Top][All Lists]

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

Re: How did you handle making a GNU/Linux distribution?

From: Christine Lemmer-Webber
Subject: Re: How did you handle making a GNU/Linux distribution?
Date: Sun, 12 Sep 2021 23:09:59 -0400
User-agent: mu4e 1.6.2; emacs 27.2

Philip McGrath <> writes:

> Hi Sage,
> On 8/22/21 5:53 PM, Sage Gerard wrote:
>> Thanks for the detailed answer!
>> It seems wise to adapt GNU Mes towards Racket or Chez Scheme instead
>> of
>> Guile to bring GNU's benefits to more Scheme and Racket programmers. Has
>> someone already tried something like that?
> I haven't tried Xiden yet, and I haven't done any concrete work toward
> this (I have been working on managing Racket packages with Guix), but 
> Christine Lemmer-Webber had floated the idea at some point of trying
> to integrate Racket and Guile.
> IIRC, I think what she's had in mind was trying to make a Guile
> backend for Racket along the lines of the Chez Scheme backend (or the
> BC backend, or experimental backends like Pycket).

Yes that's what I had in mind :)

> As I said, I haven't actually tried any of this, but, as I've thought
> about what might be involved, there are two things that have struck me 
> as downsides:
>  1. Flatt et al. say in "Rebuilding Racket on Chez Scheme (Experience
>     Report)" (§6, p. 13) that, "If our task were to compile Racket to an
>     existing target, then we would not have achieved such a high degree
>     of compatibility. … we have taken the liberty of modifying Chez
>     Scheme to make it an easier target for Racket."
>     Presumably a Racket-on-Guile project would face the same trade-off,
>     where modifications to Guild, if Racket CS is a guide, could require
>     hard work over many years, and lesser compatibility would make the
>     result less useful.

At one point when I spoke to Matthew, he was very optimistic that the
work on porting on top of Chez would open Racket to running on top of
many other backends.  But yes... since there have been so many "custom"
modifications to Chez, it's easier to be skeptical about that these

>  2. As you probably know, Racket programs can't generally use
>     Chez Scheme implemented libraries, because Chez Scheme effectively
>     is the "unsafe" layer of the Racket VM. For example, not all Racket
>     procedures are Chez Scheme procedures, and Racket's continuations
>     wrap Chez Scheme's to implement delimited and composable control,
>     threads, parameters, full continuation marks, etc.
>     For Racket CS, this isn't a great loss (there aren't so many
>     Chez-specific libraries, and portable libraries can run in Racket's
>     R6RS language), but, for a hypothetical Racket-on-Guile,
>     bidirectional interoperability would be a big attraction: imagine
>     Guix, Shepherd, Mcron, syntax/parse, racket/contract, and more all
>     working together.
> If I were going to work on this, I'd start by looking at having Racket
> and Guile coexist as siblings with interoperability through their FFIs 
> level. Even better, eventually you could compile Guile to Racket
> linklets, so the two could coexist in the same primitive module
> system. There would probably always need to be something along the
> lines of require/typed to interoperate between the languages, since
> Guile has mutable pairs and an unusual approach to falsehood and
> nullity to let Scheme's #f and '() coexist with Emacs List's nil. (See 
>>>> I'm at the point where users are requesting a GNU/Linux distribution for
>>>> Xiden, such that Racket is the primary language for day-to-day
>>>> operation. I'm ignorant of the scope of work, and am unsure if I can do
>>>> it alone.
> To me, at least, the scope of the work in creating a new GNU/Linux
> distribution seems daunting. My hope would be that bringing Racket and 
> Guile closer together would let most if not all of the effort be shared.
> Hope some of this is useful, and best of luck!
> -Philip

reply via email to

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