[Arm-netbook] Standards Organization as a Potentially Universal Free/Libre Software Developement Sustenance Model

Hendrik Boom hendrik at topoi.pooq.com
Tue Jun 6 15:20:42 BST 2017

On Tue, Jun 06, 2017 at 08:01:02AM -0400, John Luke Gibson wrote:
> Both. Most languages today are pretty esoteric, even today. And, the
> problem isn't so much with the docs, as these languages were designed
> for people that already new another language equally esoteric, etc.
> I would think Lisp's resurgence (as well as developing Guile) is a
> demonstration of GNU trying to break away from that paradigm.

Racket is a rather interesting variant of Scheme.  Aside from having 
good tutorials and documentation, it explicitly allows mixed-language 
development.  In fact, the first line of a Racket module usually 
states which language to use for the rest.  And Racket has tools 
for defining alternative syntax and/or semantics.

> >> [blah blah blah about making programming easier]
> >
> >  again, i feel that it is not appropriate to tell people these kinds
> > of things, as it would be a restriction on what they do and learn.
> > counter-example: some projects *have* to have a large code-base, by
> > definition of their goals and scope.
> I recognize that intuitive isn't always concise, but often it is.
> I only mean concise when it means intuitive.
> If a projects roadmap demands a large code base that is
> highly-esoteric and unintuitive, then that exhibits fault in the
> underlying language.

Racket's language-definition tool  can be used to shorten notation 
within a large program, and also to define completely new languages.

For example, one of the languages so implemented is Algol 60. 

Another is Scribble, a document compiler.  Being based on Racket, it's 
possible to use arbitrary Scheme code in generating your document, 
should you choose to.

-- hendrik

> I'm not suggesting any project change to prioritize this. To the
> contrary, I think I was quite clear: a project should only dedicate
> 'extra' resources to this type of endeavor.

There's one case in which a project decided they needed a scripting 
language, and they chose Gambit, a Scheme dialect that compiles to C 
or C++.

After they installed it, they discovered that it was often easier to 
add features in the scripting language than in the original C++ code.

Then they disovered that fixing bugs could often be done by replacing 
buggy C++ code by Scheme code.

After a few years, the codebase shrank from about 200,000 lines of 
code to about 30,000.  (I'm not sure of the exact numbers, but they 
were of these orders of magnitude.)

-- hendrik

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