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:
- 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.
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.
Makes perfect sense.
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)
I doubt it.
I don't use Gambit, I use Skeem. Yes, I know Gambit is Scheme. Skeem is also Scheme, just a different Scheme.
Made me think of Risky, but Ponzi is better.
2010 looks like it's going to be a great year for Lisp.
So folks using Arc can probably expect
mzscheme -f as.scm
I look forward to the Racket release this summer.
OTOH I can't blame them for wanting to leave the current Scheme governance story behind.
Expected release date: Summer 2010
'Higher-Order Internet Technology', 'HIT Racket'.
Not sure if names like Scheme, Racket and Swindle attract the right people...