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[Texmacs-dev] Getting rid of Scheme?

From: Salman Khilji
Subject: [Texmacs-dev] Getting rid of Scheme?
Date: Tue, 6 Apr 2004 19:40:16 -0700
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I would like to inquire the feasibility of making TeXmacs independent of 
Scheme.  Please give me your comments about whether one of the following is 

Note:  Even if noone is interested in this, I may do it just for myself if I 
can ever understand enough of the TeXmacs internals.

1)  Expose necessary functions within TeXmacs to Python.  Then basically 
rewrite the progs directory in Python.  One can then use Python to customize 
the keyboard and the menus.  How much of a work does this sound to be?

2)  Eventhough I like Python much better than Scheme, I still believe that for 
maintainability reasons a computer program should be written in one language.  
The reason being that not all C++ programmers know Python and not all Python 
programmers know C++.  The exact same is true for Scheme as well.  So while 
the syntax of Python IMHO is 1000% better than that of Scheme I would not 
like any scripting capability in my own version of TeXmacs.  So I would like 
to basically write a DLL that has all the functionaility that the 'progs' 
directory in the TeXmacs distribution contains.  This basically means writing 
the 'progs' directory in C++ and making it available as a DLL.  Customizing 
TeXmacs would then mean recompiling this DLL instead of messing around with 
the pathetic language know as Scheme.  I personally would recompile a C++ DLL 
over reading and modifying Scheme any time.

3)  While going thru a short guile tutorial, I came to learn that Guile can 
emulate other languages.  i.e if you expose your application to Guile, the 
user can actually write their scripts in Python instead of Scheme.  Is this 

I have already put Scheme on my list of unlearnables---or lets put it that 
way---waste of time to learn in presence of more modern languages like 

I had once requested any recommendations of links that pointed to a nice 
introduction to Scheme.  David recommended a link.  I followed it.  Later I 
also tried another one of the very popular links recommended by people.  I 
finally came to a conclusion that Scheme must be written for idiots.  Both of 
the most popular links that I followed wanted to teach me programming from 
scrach.  The authors wanted me to learn what a computer is---and that a 
computer runs something called a program....and a program has variables.  And 
how to develop logic to write a computer program.  And how to spell 

Basically I don't need to read 500 pages to see what Scheme is.  Compare this 
to Python, I once read a nice 40 pages introduction to Python and now I am 
capable to following Python code pretty well....even though I can't write my 
own Python programs, I can at least understand them.  That was all one 
afternoon.  Comparing this to an afternoon that I spent on Scheme....well all 
I can say that the author wasted my time assuming that I was in idiot in a 
4th grade trying to write a computer program for the first time in my life.


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