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Re: guile again

From: Ben Pfaff
Subject: Re: guile again
Date: Tue, 24 Mar 2009 01:04:51 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.2 (gnu/linux)

Jason Stover <address@hidden> writes:

> I attended the FSF annual meeting recently. At the dinner after the
> first day, I spoke to a couple of developers about scheme and Guile
> and functional programming.  I talked about the problem I had 
> making large data structures to accumulate and store sufficient
> statistics (like the covariance matrix). We all agreed that a Lisp-ish
> language would be better suited to addressing such tasks.  I think
> both Ben and John would agree in principal.

I agree in principle that it would be nice to be able to develop
for PSPP in more languages than C, and I understand that Guile is
the language that the GNU project has endorsed as an extension
language for all GNU software.

But I wonder whether our users would be better served by choosing
a different extension language.  In particular, SPSS supports
Python and R as extension languages.  If PSPP were to support one
(or both) of these languages for extension, then our users could
reuse the extensions that they have already written.  On the
other hand, if we were to choose Guile, then they would have to
learn an entirely different language (and in practice I think
that they would choose not to do this).

Another approach would be to integrate support for multiple
languages using a tool such as SWIG (, which
supports Guile, Python, R, and other languages.
Ben Pfaff

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