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PLT Scheme being renamed to PLT Racket (plt-racket.org)
82 points by JoelMcCracken 2400 days ago | hide | past | web | 38 comments | favorite

I've stated in the past the _only_ thing wrong with PLT Scheme was not enough marketing.

PLT Racket is as evolved beyond standard Scheme as modern man from Australopithecus.

So many rich areas of study are available for exploration. Just some of the capabilities, not toy, but full robust capabilities, include:

- Lazy - Functional - Reactive - OO - Macros (powerful, hygenic) - Delimited continuations - Module system (dynamic)

Not too mention the basics, eye opening approaches to XML and Web, an IDE, debugger, contracts, typed/dynamic language, jit, Android development, ... and on and on.

The talent of the core PLT group is outstanding. Matthias Felleisen for example was awarded an ACM Fellowship in 2006 for contributions to programming languages and development environments. His academic publications are right up there with the best out there, yet he spends as much time focused on the foundational aspects of teaching kids, and students as high brow papers, and the real world demands of programming. And the rest the core are not too shabby either.

IMHO, there are currently only 2 top tier active hotspots where the cool theoretical meets with the practical and usable in programming language theory, the Haskell and PLT ecospheres.

Scala, and Closure would be next.

Don't listen to the wingnuts comedy central wannabe's cracking poor puns here about schemes and rackets (well laugh at the good ones).

In all seriousness, if you are at that point where you've stumbled onto the fact that there is a whole world beyond Java, Cobol, C and C++ and are having fun exploring Smalltalk, SML, OCaml, Haskell, Scala, Closure et al, do not skip, repeat, do not skip exploring PLT Racket. It is as rich, and deep and mind altering as any of them.

Is this some sort of early April Fools joke?

Gah. now I feel bad. I didn't know about this.

If it isn't they could've picked a better date for the announcement.

I would have preferred PLT Parrot, but Racket will do.

If preventing confusion is one's goal, using a name which includes the name of an existing VM is not the best choice.

It was a joking reference to the Parrot announcement, which started as an April Fool's joke about a merger of Perl and Python but which led to the Parrot VM (the One VM to Rule Them All).

Sounds like a great idea. My understanding is that PLT Scheme goes way beyond R5 (even R6), and with the new "R7" dual standard on the way, better to change the name now rather than later and be potentially confused with the upcoming R7 "big" Scheme.

It looks to me as though they're opening the doors to extend Scheme beyond RxRS specifications. Or am I misreading their press release?

You are. They already have a dialect of Scheme that contains many extensions beyond the RxRS specs, this is just giving it a name so that people stop confusing "PLT's dialect of Scheme" with "Scheme in general".

Personally, I'm not a big fan of the name "Racket", because it makes me think of tennis rather than racketeering. However, I do support the idea of having a PLT "brand" rather than a hodgepodge of names like DrScheme, MrEd and mzscheme.

racket n. an illegal or dishonest scheme

Makes perfect sense.

Makes sense, but I'm not sure I like the way it's headed. Scheme is so named due to a Lisp system called Planner. "Scheme" and "Planner" (and, I suppose, "Gambit") have mostly neutral connotations. "Swindle", "Larceny", "Heist", and now "Racket" are obviously criminal.

It's not a good direction, PR-wise. You end up with people having to justify to their bosses why they want to use something called Racket for work, or justifying to parents why their kids are learning Racket in schools.

(And then there's the inevitable analogy: Python : Pythonista :: Racket : Racketeer)

You end up with people having to justify to their bosses why they want to use something called Racket for work, or justifying to parents why their kids are learning Racket in schools.

I doubt it.

Tell the boss it's about tennis! The only possible better association would have to be golf...

They already do.

Ah, then that explains the name change for me.

Why can't they be like clojure and pick a name that isn't overloaded by everything else...

yeah, take a name like 'Clojure" that sounds like Clozure, the company that maintains OpenMCL, now Clozure Common Lisp

'PLT Scheme' to just 'Skeem'?

Say this paragraph out loud:

I don't use Gambit, I use Skeem. Yes, I know Gambit is Scheme. Skeem is also Scheme, just a different Scheme.

ponzi, would be just too cute perhaps ?

That's a winner:-)

Made me think of Risky, but Ponzi is better.

I've been using Clojure a lot and have been lamenting the fact that Clojure, while great for building applications isn't great for shell scripting. Racket may be just the tool I reach for when I can't write it in Clojure.

2010 looks like it's going to be a great year for Lisp.

Kind of like naming something with the word "hacker", it could be something good or something bad. The "News" bit of "Hacker News" adds context that makes it seem legit, even if you initially take "Hacker" as something negative. There is no implicit context for "PLT Racket". Just my $.02, but it's not a good choice of names.

Old executables, web sites, mailing addresses, and module names will forward to the new ones. We will work to make the transition as painless as possible and to preserve old references for as long as possible.

So folks using Arc can probably expect

  mzscheme -f as.scm
to still be supported for some time.

Doesn't Arc require you to use a version of mzscheme from 2007?

Wow. http://arclanguage.org/install should really be updated then.

Yea your right it won't really change arc anyways. pg hasn't ported it to not use set-car! etc...

Strange name change, but a good programming environment (although I more frequently use Emacs+Gambit-C Scheme because I like being able to effortlessly build small compiled applications - harder to do in PLT Scheme).

I look forward to the Racket release this summer.

This makes me sad. PLT folk are great Scheme researchers and practitioners; now I fear their work and conversations will turn ever-more inward.

OTOH I can't blame them for wanting to leave the current Scheme governance story behind.

The entire text of http://www.plt-racket.org/:

  Expected release date: Summer 2010

There used to be several paragraphs, e.g. explaining the choice of name, but it's been taken down. I guess this wasn't the launch they were hoping for.

why not rename 'PLT' too?

'Higher-Order Internet Technology', 'HIT Racket'.

Not sure if names like Scheme, Racket and Swindle attract the right people...

And what kind of people does Stalin (a Scheme compiler) attract? I shudder to think.

Why not Ratchet instead of Racket. Then you could rename DrScheme to NurseRatchet... :)

Nice move. Names matter. I like it.

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