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[Scheme-reports] Proposed revision of WG2's charter
Now that WG1's work is mostly done, I'm proposing a revision of the WG2
charter. My current draft, which is reproduced here for convenience,
lives at <http://trac.sacrideo.us/wg/wiki/ProposedWG2Charter>.
Please comment. If WG2 reaches consensus, I will send the draft to the
Charter for working group 2
This is an editor's draft and not yet official. New paragraphs are
marked as such. The reference to the timeline proved to be unhelpful
in WG1 and has been removed. The section on coordination with WG1 has
been stripped down to a statement of compatibility. The membership and
internal process sections have been rewritten.
Because the SRFI process is open to all members of the Scheme community,
the final community vote has been removed from the process.
Working group 2 will develop specifications, documents, and proofs of
practical implementability for a language that embodies the essential
character of Scheme, that is large enough to address the practical
needs of mainstream software development, and that can be extended and
integrated with other systems.
The purpose of this work is to facilitate sharing of Scheme
code. One goal is to be able to reuse code written in one conforming
implementation in another conforming implementation with as little
change as possible. Another goal is for users of this work to be able
to understand each other's code based on a shared and unambiguous
interpretation of its meaning.
The language is not necessarily intended for educational, research, or
embedded use, though such uses are not prohibited. Therefore, it may be
a "heavyweight" language compared to the language designed by working
Requirements and Goals
To promote extensibility, the language developed by working group 2 must
include support for macros and modules in a way that is appropriate for
the language's size and goals.
When deciding which features to include in the language, working group 2
should consider all features provided by R6RS Scheme, and all criticisms
of those features. Insofar as practical, the language should be backwards
compatible with an appropriate subset of the R6RS standard.
Working group 2 may also consider whether it is practical to add
new features to support networking, threads, internationalization,
foreign-function interfaces, et cetera. Working group 2 is encouraged
to propose new working groups for any new features that it considers
desirable but cannot pursue without risking the timeliness of its
Self consistency is an important objective, which may require adding
Working group 2 must develop written specifications for the
language. These specifications must be accompanied by concise statements
of all formal comments and objections that have been raised by members
of the working group or by the Scheme community at large. The working
group should also provide a written design rationale, executable reference
implementations, test suites, and other artifacts that would assist with
constructive debate or increase acceptance of the language.
Compatibility with R7RS-small
Every implementation of the specifications produced by working group
2 must be an implementation of the specifications produced by working
group 1. Every program that conforms to the specifications produced
by working group 1 (and relies on no features beyond those guaranteed
by those specifications) must also be a program that conforms to the
specifications produced by working group 2.
New: Any member of the Scheme community may become a member of the working
group with the consent of the chair, which shall not be unreasonably
withheld. Membership decisions made by the chair may be appealed to the
Steering Committee. It is expected that new members will join throughout
the life of the working group.
Members of the working group should endorse the goals of the working
group and be willing and able to work toward consensus. Working groups
1 and 2 should have some members in common.
All technical discussions must be made public. This requirement can
be satisfied by timely posting of email and the technical minutes of
meetings at a public web site, and by maintaining a publicly readable
mailing list devoted to working group 2's technical discussions.
Internal Decision Making Process
The chair of the working group is expected to develop an internal process
that allows the working group to achieve its objectives.
New: Insofar as practical, the working group should leverage the existing
SRFI process to develop the standard. Any member of the working group
can propose that a SRFI, existing or to be created, should become part
of the language. It is expected that many existing and new SRFIs will
be added to the language in this fashion. Sections of the R6RS standards
may be treated as SRFIs for this purpose.
New: If the working group agrees, the SRFI as a whole will become an
optional part of the language, constituting one or more libraries. If
the chair believes a proposal is sufficiently uncontroversial, the
SRFI may be added to the language without consulting the working group,
although any such action by the chair may be overridden at the request
of any member, in which case the working group shall vote on the proposal.
New: In exceptional circumstances, the working group may decide explicitly
to make a SRFI a required part of the language.
The working group is expected to strive for consensus on all
decisions. Where consensus cannot be achieved, the working group may
proceed on the basis of a vote, but the results of such votes must
be preserved within the public record, along with the reasons for
dissent. Minority positions may be registered as formal objections
New: When the working group votes on a proposal, a simple majority of
the legal votes cast (ignoring abstentions) shall determine the vote.
The work products developed by working group 2 will be submitted to
the Steering Committee for endorsement. The Steering Committee will
work with working group 2 to seek maximum possible timely consensus on
the work products. In considering whether to endorse the work products,
the Steering Committee will consider whether the work products meet the
charter requirements, as well as the level of support that they enjoy.
New: Given the modular nature of the standard, the working group is
encouraged to submit work products for endorsement on a rolling basis
rather than waiting for the effort to be complete.
If the Steering Committee believes that support could be increased by
revising work products in response to specific objections, then it may
request another draft/review cycle of the working group.
The Steering Committee selects, and may replace, the working group's
The working group may elect or appoint other officers as it sees fit.
New: The Steering Committee may terminate the working group on request
of the chair or on its own motion at any time.
John Cowan cowan@x
"Mr. Lane, if you ever wish anything that I can do, all you will have
to do will be to send me a telegram asking and it will be done."
"Mr. Hearst, if you ever get a telegram from me asking you to do
anything, you can put the telegram down as a forgery."
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