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[Scheme-reports] Ratification vote on R7RS-small

Full Name: Alan M. Watson

Location: Mexico City

Affiliation: Instituto de Astronomía, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de

Statement of Interest: Supplied for R6RS vote and not repeated here.

Vote: Yes. I would however urge that procedure equivalence be fixed as
suggested by Sussman. I understand that this will inhibit some
optimizations, but I think this is preferable to demoting procedures
from being first-class in this respect.


The R6RS was ratified six years ago. In many ways the Scheme community
would be in a better position if we had subsequently given it widespread
support; we could have spent the last six years on other things.
Instead, a schism formed. The R7RS is an attempt to heal that schism,
while still moving on from the R5RS.

I am therefore voting for two things. I am voting for the current draft
as a technical description of Scheme, and I am voting for it as a bridge
between the groups on either side of the schism.

As a technical description of Scheme, it's largely fine. It has flaws,
but despite claims to the contrary, all of the Scheme reports have had
flaws. It certainly moves the language on from the R5RS, with a module
system, records, and a framework for Unicode being the most important
additions. For the last year or so I've been using draft R7RS Scheme for
most of my Scheme programming, and it's quite comfortable.

As a bridge, it adopts many of the advances proposed in the R6RS, but
avoids many of the features that rightly or wrongly caused controversy.
Whether this is enough, only time will tell.

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