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Re: [Scheme-reports] WG1 Scheme as a language for CS1

On Mon, May 09, 2011 at 11:09:34AM -0700, Arthur A. Gleckler wrote:
> >
> > If you'd like to see threads in WG1, it would be nice to provide us with
> > some kind of rock-bottom-minimum API; SRFI 18 is huge, and it's far from
> > clear to me that mutexes and condition variables are even the right
> > abstraction (some kind of CSP would appeal to me much more, but that's
> > just me).
> >
> I also prefer CSP when writing programs, but it makes sense to include the
> most fundamental mechanisms, e.g. at least mutexes and condition variables.
>  As Jeronimo points out, they are the primitives out of which higher-level
> abstractions like CSP can be implemented.

It may be that WG1 has conflicting goals. A minimalistic language would
have continuations but not excaptions; maybe a clock for seeding random 
generators, but not the generators themselves; condition variables and
mutexes, but not mailboxes or other easier synchronization tools...

But a "small language for learning only how to do basic programming" may
need an exception system, and not continuations; RANDOM; mailboxes
for synchronization, and so on.

This is because it's not always the case that complex things are built 
on top of simpler things. Quite often the opposite happens.

But in spite of that, I do like what the working group has done.


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