Essay on Scheme

wdb: My first contact to programming was in 1976, and it was “dry” which means that in those times, I had no computer but just a newspaper article of Douglas R. Hofstadter about Lisp. Later on, I found that Scheme was the easiest Lisp available, so Scheme became my favourite language.

But over the time, I began to doubt on it because of these reasons:

  1. The construct of arrays is essential only for performance reasons;
  2. With R4R, the value nil was not necessarily taken as logical false;
  3. With R5R, the construct values was introduced, and the only needs I see is performance.

Reason 2 may be a matter of taste, I prefer it minimalistic. But reasons 1 and 3, my point of view is this: performance optimisation is a job for the compiler, not of a human. Being a purist, I am not willed to decide if I should use a list, or an array, or a values-construction. Shall the compiler decide how to deal my bag of values, I want results only!

I do not say, Scheme is bad. But I switch to Tcl (where the design flaws differ, but nonetheless).

See also: Scheme | Lisp | Tcl and LISP | Advantages of Tcl over Lisp