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Direction



I feel that the current discussion about defined? and undefine
is a sign of Guile's worst weakness; and that is, IMHO, lack of
direction.

So let me throw some ideas around for comments, so we know what
we're doing.

  What
========

The objective of Guile, as I see it, is to develop a powerful
extension language (emphasis: extension, not scripting). Is good
to know it's possible to create all-Guile software, but this is
not the primary goal. Anyone disagrees?


  How
=======

Even if we agree on above, this doesn't say a lot. There are
many concepts of "powerful" and many ways to get there.

These are the three major directions I see people trying to pull
Guile to:

1: generic extension library/interpreter. This is the direction
   we advertise the most, and the one chapioned by projects like
   CTAX, tcl->scheme, Sonya, etc. If this is the path we want to
   follow, the priority should be in constructs to allow bizarre
   Perl and Python constructs (one example that comes to mind:
   Python's "type" type)

2: a powerful Scheme implementation. Everytime I see "but Scheme
   does this by..." or "the standard doesn't have this" or "this
   is not schemely" I realize how powerful this "party" is.

I think there are more (I seem to remember I had three when I
started to write this message).

Of course, as in all Free Software, there's nothing stopping
Guile from being good at more than one of these; but sometimes
there will be a conflict, and when that comes we should know
what the priorities are.


And just to make sure I haven't started a discussion I don't
care for, my personal opinion:

Most people couldn't care less for Scheme. As a very "pure"
language it seems to be a good base for a "generic" interpreter,
and that proposal is the only reason I ever turned my attention
to it.

Scheme isn't easy to learn, and I don't want to say "either you
learn Scheme or you can't write FEAST plugins". That would
invalidate my choice. Why must SIAG, one of the greatest Guile
champions, have Python and TCL interpreters?

Perl and TCL are the most used languages. Python is famed to be
the easiest to learn. Unless we have an interpreter/library that
can read all three of them, I don't think people will care.

[]s,
                                               |alo
                                               +----
--
      I am Lalo of deB-org. You will be freed.
                 Resistance is futile.

http://www.webcom.com/lalo      mailto:lalo@webcom.com
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