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Re: Reasons for withdrawal

This page is part of the web mail archives of SRFI 44 from before July 7th, 2015. The new archives for SRFI 44 contain all messages, not just those from before July 7th, 2015.

scgmille@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> In an attempt to break this circular flame war, please state your 
> objections in a point by point matter, citing evidence.

1. The draft period is already overdue, and there are still a few major
   issues to resolve. A slight delay to deal with minor issues might be
   OK, but extending the draft period for a re-design is not. That's
   what the withdraw-and-resubmit process is for. Evidence: The SRFI
   Process Document explains this clearly.

2. The reference implementation is incomplete. Evidence: There's no
   implementation of set, and there's no implementation of bag as a
   distinct type.

3. Dictionaries still aren't well-specified. Evidence: Author's own

4. The SRFI still lacks important primitives operations. Evidence: There
   is no GET-ANY procedure to retrieve all dictionary elements that
   match a given domain value. GET-ANY is necessary for dictionaries
   with duplicate keys. It is both implementable and meaningful for all
   dictionaries, even those with unique keys.

5. The SRFI does not document its relationship with other standards and
   SRFIs. Specifically, it does not address potential incompatibilities.
   The SRFI process requires this documentation. Evidence: SRFI Process

6. SRFI-44 does not address performance issues sufficiently, and its
   claim to present a sufficient "generic" interface encourages
   inefficient programming habits. Evidence: Conclusion based on
   experience and best practices in the field of re-use.

7. The SRFI is immature. Evidence: Active discussion and major changes
   implemented more than 90 days after the initial draft. As the SRFI
   Process Document states: "Active discussion or revision after 90 days
   normally suggests that a proposal has been revised at least 3 times
   and is not yet mature enough for standardization."

8. The SRFI is not an implementation at all. Evidence: The SRFI itself
   points out that it's a "meta-SRFI" -- it isn't even a plan for Scheme
   implementations, it's a design document for future SRFIs. The SRFI
   FAQ points out that this is the wrong venue for such documents.
   SRFI-44 attempts to implicitly change the SRFI process by hiding a
   change to that process inside a document that's nominally about
   something else. Bad, bad idea.

Please remember these two things:

    Note that [incomplete implementation] is never a permanent
    rejection, because creation of an implementation of one of the other
    types is a complete refutation of this basis for rejection.

The withdrawal and resubmission process exists so that you can re-open
the SRFI when it is mature.

    Remember, even if a proposal becomes an final SRFI, the need for it
    must be compelling enough for implementors to decide to incorporate
    it into their systems, or it will have been a waste of time and
    effort for everyone involved. If the quality of any SRFI is not
    high, the likelihood of implementors adding this feature to their
    implementation is extremely low.

There is an additional risk for a "meta-SRFI": A poor implementation can
disrupt the SRFI process itself, as people debate whether you should
consider the meta-SRFI binding. Consider the discussions about whether
implementors should follow SRFI-1's example, and then consider the
additional disruption created by a SRFI that's specifically intended to
set an example.
Bradd W. Szonye