There is little incentive for language implementators to maintain language
compatibility across implementations. The panacea of a portable language
has never been met after decades of such attempts. The LISP vendors share
such a small part of the computer language market today that value addition
is important in differentiating their products from their competition.
Although, as a developer, I would love to see our languages held to a more
common framework, LISP is a prime example of a language in evolution. Why
would the language vendors be interesting in cooperating in this effort?
From: Michael Sperber [Mr. Preprocessor]
To: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>;
firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>; firstname.lastname@example.org
<email@example.com>; firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>;
Date: Monday, January 04, 1999 9:10 AM
Subject: [ANNOUNCE] SRFI --- A new approach to portable Scheme code
>This announces the inception of the SRFI process.
>Everything you need to know about it is at:
>A SRFI is "Scheme Requests for Implementation," and the process is a
>new approach to helping Scheme users to write portable and yet useful
>In the past, writing portable Scheme has been difficult. The Scheme
>standards simply do not specify enough functionality to write serious
>software. This is unfortunate, as almost every Scheme implementation
>does provide considerable library functionality. However, in the
>past, there has been little coordination between language implementors
>to synchronize the interfaces to their libraries, even when different
>implementations provided the exact same functionality.
>The SRFI process is a forum for people interested in coordinating
>libraries and other additions to the Scheme language between
>It provides mailing lists and a web site to specify, discuss, and
>archive additions to Scheme, in the hope that the maintainers of the
>major implementations will draw from this work when they add
>functionality to their implementations. Eventually, this will
>hopefully allow useful Scheme programs to be portable among
>implementations if they provide the necessary functionality.
>We expect, among others, SRFIs for list handling, records, exception
>handling, foreign function interfaces, and object systems in the
>.. The SRFI Editors
> Shriram Krishnamurthi
> Dave Mason
> Michael Sperber