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Re: [Texmacs-dev] Re: Getting rid of Scheme?

From: Dan Martens
Subject: Re: [Texmacs-dev] Re: Getting rid of Scheme?
Date: Wed, 07 Apr 2004 11:47:05 -0400

I personally do not care one way or another what underlying scripting language 
is used for TeXmacs, but I can tell you that it is not likely to change.  Some 
very important sponsors of the project rely on a scheme interface for TeXmacs, 
so I can't see the mainstream development line being switched over anytime 
soon.  We have had some discussions about switching interpreters as guile is 
not the best piece of software ever created, but nothing as far as removing 

I you feel like porting TeXmacs to python, by all means please do so.  Open 
source software never goes anywhere without developers acting on their ideas.  
It may not be integrated with the mainline, but that doesn't means it can't 
still be developed.

>You are way ahead of me here.  I have trouble writing even simple >documents 
>in TeXmacs.  I have mentioned on this list before that the >TeXmacs tutorials 
>and documentation do not really tell you how to >type what you see in the 
>screen.  One thinks about posting a >question to texmacs-users but when you 
>have too many questions about >writing even a simple document, it becomes a 
>hassle to post.

Please keep in mind that TeXmacs was originally written by a mathematician, for 
mathematicians.  Many of the regular "user" type features and docs have been 
added on as the program gained popularity.
>> I am sad, that I cannot provide a solution. I can just describe my
>> problems. How can we attract more developers to the TeXmacs-project?
>You really cannot.  The reason is the TeXmacs is not really written in the 
>mainstream  programming language---Scheme.  Even the C++ part is not C++ but 
>rather is Scheme.  

What language a program is written in does not dictate how many developers are 
willing to work on it.  The only way to attract more people is increase the 
popularity of the program.  We are hoping the upcoming windows port will do 
just that as it opens TeXmacs up to the mainstream.  But we won't know until we 
get there.

>No many developers are familiar with Scheme, and many like me refuse >to learn 
>it (that would be me) or are too incompetent to learn it >again that would be 

I wouldn't say that you have to learn scheme to develop texmacs.  Although I 
have used Scheme in the past, it's been a while, and I am by no means a Scheme 
programmer.  It really depends what it is that you want to do.  If it does 
require scheme, then learn it.  It took me about a full day to pick it up the 
basics when I had to a few years ago.  It's a little scary at first, but there 
are also some really nice features of scheme, I can't remember them all right 
now, but I do remember continuations and list handling being pretty neat.  When 
you start to write Scheme, you also have to stop thinking procedurally as in C, 
instead think recursion, lots and lots of recursion :)


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