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Re: [Chicken-hackers] Big Chicken?

From: Peter Bex
Subject: Re: [Chicken-hackers] Big Chicken?
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2015 08:59:57 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

On Wed, Mar 04, 2015 at 01:16:02PM -0800, Daniel Leslie wrote:
> I've been working on improving editor support for Chicken lately. With the
> (laudable) efforts to remove units from core underway it struck me that
> there may be opportunity for improvement in the other direction.
> While reducing Chicken core to its essential components is desirable I
> would like to think that the Chicken distribution, which contains more than
> core, would be somewhat of a 'batteries included' package. At least insofar
> as what is common to package with language distributions these days. IE, a
> powerful debugger, a utility to fetch documentation, and a powerful set of
> tools to explore the language within the REPL.

Anyone is free to package up CHICKEN as they see fit.  AFAIK the Windows
installer comes bundled with a few eggs, for example.

> With that in mind, and acknowledging that perhaps it's a little
> self-serving, I would like to propose that the following Eggs be shipped
> within the standard Chicken distribution:
>    - apropos
>    - chicken-doc
>    - trace
> Any thoughts? Or is this out of the question?

I think this would be a move in the wrong direction again.  These tools,
while perhaps useful in some situations, aren't always desirable.  They
work very well stand-alone and there is no technical reason why they
should be included in core.  Personally I don't use any of the listed
eggs, so for me it would just be added bloat.

Besides, where would the list end?  This list sounds pretty arbitrary,
and I've heard people argue for including various other eggs over time.
I think we should focus on getting those eggs integrated where there's
a clear *technical* advantage of doing so.

One of the great things about having things in eggs is that their
development can move at a different pace than CHICKEN core, which is
admittedly rather sluggish, with sometimes more than a year between
minor releases!  Another great thing is that when something better
comes along, you don't get into the situation of dragging along a lot
of dead weight "for legacy reasons".  Finally, one reason people choose
CHICKEN over, say, Racket is the fact that it's light-weight and lean.
We shouldn't throw away one of our strengths.


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