This page is part of the web mail archives of SRFI 50 from before July 7th, 2015. The new archives for SRFI 50 contain all messages, not just those from before July 7th, 2015.
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2004 22:13:02 +0100 References: <E1AeyBj-0005Cs-00@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> <opr1navdgcw2xcd0@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> On Mon, 12 Jan 2004 05:31:51 +0100, felix <felix@call-with-current- continuation.org> wrote: But, if we end up with a multitude of different SRFIs, addressing common functionality (this reminds me of SRFI-0 vs. SRFI-7, BTW), we have gained nothing. My take on the SRFI process is that it gives two separate mechanisms for arriving at common interfaces. One is the discussion period, where the authors of a SRFI get feedback and get an chance to ammend and improve a particular SRFI. The second mechanism is that there can be multiple SRFIs that address a particular problem, giving people a chance to try out different solutions and see what works for them and what doesn't. Some of this stuff is hard and no one understands it well enough to produce the be-all and end-all of a SRFI, even with the help of a few months of informed discussion by experts. For example, there are lots of different approaches to threads that differ in big ways and small ways. SRFI-18 describes a fairly standard thread mechanism. But there are also engines, ERLANG-style threads that don't share mutable state, cooperative multitasking, non-blocking synchronization, etc. It would be awful if the existence of SRFI-18 stopped people from trying out and producing SRFIs for other thread models. Obviously this doesn't apply equally to all SRFIs. One form of nested multi-line comments (SRFI-30) seems adequate to me. So where does SRFI-50 fit in this spectrum? Opinions differ. It clearly isn't universal, but then it never was intended to be. As far as I know, the notion that a SRFI should necessarily be portable to all implementations appeared for the first time in the SRFI-50 discussion. It certainly came as a surpise to me. (Which isn't to say that it doesn't have validity, he added quickly in a (probably useless) attempt to forestall strongly-worded objections to what is a description of a past event and not intended as a value judgement.) The genesis of SRFI-50 is simple. Scheme 48 had a extremely minimal C FFI. Mike needed something more. He and I developed an FFI that we found quite useful. We thought others might also find it useful, so we put some work into fleshing out the parts that we hadn't needed ourselves and wrote it up as a SRFI. That we weren't completely out of our minds is born out by Jim Blandy's realizing that he had already implemented a SRFI-50-like interface that he planned to at least partially expose to the public. But that was then and now is now. I'm going to take a day or two to talk to Mike offline and think about how to proceed. -Richard Kelsey