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Re: [Scheme-reports] ratification vote for R7RS-small

On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 6:41 PM, Per Bothner <per@x> wrote:
> I think the problem with R6RS was not that it was inherently too
> big though people complained about that.  The bigger problem is it
> was too big a jump from R5RS.  There was (in retrospect) too much
> for people to absorb, and too much to build consensus for in a
> limited time.  In this sense R7RS-small strikes a better balance:
> Big enough to add most of the more critical improvements people
> have asked for, without being so big as to scare people off.

I think this perspective, while common, is incorrect in an important way.

Consider the following e-mail to the rrrs-authors list, from 1992:
.  It has an agenda for a meeting about R5RS. That agenda includes,
effectively, everything that's been considered in R5RS, R6RS, and R7RS
(small) to date. It took 6 years after that meeting, with not that
much in the way of further progress, to release R5RS, and another 9 to
release R6RS, and another 6 to get to where we are with R7RS. How
could this be called "a limited time"?

For example, that agenda describes a record system proposal by Curtis,
Rees, and Adams (I can't immediately find the proposal itself) that
has "some consensus". Today, 21 years later, record systems(!) haven't
gotten more consensus in the Scheme community. Why would anyone think
that a few, or even 21, more years would fix this?  It's long past
time to recognize that there's no consensus to be had.


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