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[Scheme-reports] Ratification vote for R7RS-small

Full name: Eli Barzilay

Location: Boston

Affiliation: Northeastern University

Statement of interest: in the R6RS vote

Vote: no

Rationale: I have accumulated a pile of problems with R7RS, but I'll
mention just the overall problem with it.  The fundamental flaw is in
how the process was started and things went down from there.  A
language standard that starts with a "forget that last standard" is a
major mistake.

As a known schemer likes to say: programming languages are like
sharks, they must move on or they die.  (Imprecise quote from memory.)
IMO R6RS was a necessary move to avoid the death of Scheme, and going
back on it is something that is likely to kill the language.

I also have *serious* issues with the voting that people are asked to
do.  The R7RS might "satisfy the requirements of the WG1 charter", but
if that requirement is itself based on a mistaken notion of this split
to two languages and worse, if that requirement was to ignore the R6RS
and restart from R5RS -- then any proper vote is inherently
nonsensical.  Given this, the interpretation that I can have for the
whole thing is that the vote is only for people who agree with the
requirements that the SLSC has decided on -- and that was handed down
the food chain, no votes taken.

My whole objection here is not something that is some vague
theoretical issue: the R7RS people have very often made decisions
based on the requirement to ignore R6RS.  Yes, I know that this was
not the actual requirment -- but R7RS people have often expressed this
kind of understanding, eg "if you want R6RS you know where to find
it", or the WG's chair saying early on that "I'm going to feed the
R6RS editors to the jaguar shark :P".  Yes, he did say later that this
is was a mistake etc, but the fact is that R6RS was most things taken
as a general non-committing recommendation at best.

I'll stop here, to avoid making it into more of a flamefest.

          ((lambda (x) (x x)) (lambda (x) (x x)))          Eli Barzilay:
                    http://barzilay.org/                   Maze is Life!

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