On 27 Mar 1997, Richard Coleman wrote:
> I read something slightly different from this paper (which Ousterhout
> doesn't really state). I believe the reason for the success of Perl,
> and Tcl is their comprehensive nature. You can use them for
> 1) building GUI
> 2) database access
> 3) CGI
> 4) tons of other specialize things.
> There are scheme implementations that have some of these elements,
> but NONE that have them all. It's the synergy between all the
> pieces that's important. The great thing about Perl is that you
> can do just about anything with it. There are modules/extentions
> to do just about any specialize task you can think of. And the
> Perl community has taken the time to organize it all (CPAN).
Part of the reason is that there is one Perl implementation, one
Tcl implementation, and one VB implementation, one Python implementation.
I can't think of a successful "scripting" language that was defined by
a standard rather than an existing implementation.
> Part of the problem is that scheme developers have been developing
> their own scheme implementations rather than rallying around a
> single distribution. This divides the energy of the group and
> results in a dozen (slightly incompatible) scheme implementations.
How true! My short list is that every "big" Scheme implemetation
gets a package/module system (Lots of Incompatible Scheme Packages),
records/structs, an object system, threads, exceptions, and multiple value
capability. I understand the desire of purists to keep the language small,
but the diversity of approaches is counter-productive. It would be good if
all of the implementors could agree to implement these things compatibly.
> Hopefully when Guile arrives on the scene, many of these things
> will be eventually available for it (primarily due to the higher
> profile of the FSF and GNU project).
I doubt that Schemers will run to Guile, but you can always hope.