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For what it's worth, I do not believe that optional arguments should ever be at the beginning in a scheme function call. That's one of the things that the language doesn't naturally do, and having it happen for one or a few functions creates glaring exceptions that have to be memorized.
As far as I can tell, "the language" doesn't naturally do optional arguments very well at all. R5RS has no facilities for it except taking apart a list, and the difference between handling optional arguments at the end rather than at the beginning is minor.
-- --Per Bothner per@xxxxxxxxxxx http://per.bothner.com/