Saturday, August 29, 2009


I added a column to my Scheme Implementation spreadsheet. That is ‘Arbitrary Metric A’ As the name suggests, it is arbitrary. However, it is also a metric. My opinion about the merits of any particular scheme implementation was not a factor.

Metric A sucks. It cannot be independently verified, it's relevancy cannot be determined, the bias is unknown. It has exactly one virtue: it has a value. I'd like to come up with something better, but until I do, here it is.

If you have an objective metric, give me the values, (or better yet, tell us how to derive them!!!) and I'll add a column for that.

Not only did I have the temerity to measure Scheme implementations on a hidden scale (it could have been a Ouija board), I had the temerity to rank the implementations. Furthemore, I divided them into four broad tiers.

Tier 1 is the powerhouse implementations. Of course PLT scheme is the most popular scheme. I was surprised to find that Gauche is tremendously popular. I've heard of it, but never used it. I was also surprised, but pleased to see MIT Scheme is still popular enough to stand out from the crowd.

Tier 2 is the usual suspects. These implementations are well known and have a solid following. The surprise here is that EdScheme is in this tier but Chez Scheme is not and that Scsh is here but Scheme 48 is not.

Tier 3 is the genus omne.

Tier 4 is the obscure implementations.