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Ticket 497: The Scheme community is broken

2013-07-07 03:20:44
WG1 - Core
2013-05-12 23:50:17

Göran Weinholt writes:

This paragraph is from RRRS (AIM-848):

Editor's note: This report records the unanimous decisions made through a remarkable spirit of compromise at Brandeis, together with the fruits of subsequent committee work and discussions made possible by various computer networks. I have tried to edit these into a coherent document while remaining faithful to the workshop's decisions and the community's consensus. I apologize for any cases in which I have misinterpreted the authors or misjudged the consensus.

Contrast that with the equivalent paragraph from draft 9:

Note: The editors of the R5RS and R6RS reports are listed as authors of this report in recognition of the substantial portions of this report that are copied directly from R5RS and R6RS. There is no intended implication that those editors, individually or collectively, support or do not support this report.

This note shows that there is something broken in the Scheme community and it has affected the report. Ratifying draft 9 does nothing to fix this problem.

I don't see that any standard should be expected to "fix" its community, if the community is indeed broken (which I deny). The paragraph quoted from the draft is a simple courtesy to those whose work was recycled into a project which they may or may not support: indeed, at least one R6RS editor has voted against the draft already. Such a paragraph ought, in my opinion, to have appeared in R6RS also: that document names the three R5RS editors in its authors section, notwithstanding that two of them had voted against its endorsement and the third had remained silent.

No one can regret more than I the loss of consensus as the decision-making mechanism. However, no other standards tradition imposes it, and the fact that a different and more democratic mechanism has been found that allows substantial progress over R5RS, without triggering more resentment than it has, is for me a cause for far more celebration than sadness.


The WG decided by unanimous consent to take no action on this ticket.