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I think at a general level, your criticisms are a good attack on a style of I/O programming. However, it isn't a style of I/O programming that is going to go away, and I think it is worth supporting, cf. Bear's last message for a defence that C-style output, if broken is at least not abjectly broken. Maybe a useful way to advance the discussion is to break it up in two parts: 1. Merits of C-style vs. functional-style output formatters 2. Merits of Ken's proposal as a C-style output formatter Maybe also it is worth the final SRFI including a relationship of the C-style formatter to a functional style formatter (eg. the semantics could be a transformation from the one to the other). Specific points and criticisms: 1. I think single letter escapes are fine: like mathematical constants if you use or often read them, you'll remember them. However, I would like it to be the case that you don't need to have memorised the whole table to be able to tell consuming escapes from non-consuming escapes (eg. upper case vs. lower case, alphnumeric vs. other). 2. Is it good to have both ~? and ~K: why have backward compatibility cruft in the first SRFI? Explanation, please! 3. It seems to me the nicest functional formatter uses the standard string concatenater together with quasiquotation. Charles