On Sun, Sep 23, 2018 at 6:41 PM Neil Van Dyke <n...@neilvandyke.org> wrote:

> Laurent wrote on 9/19/18 8:29 AM:
> > I don't mind `#:`, but I'd prefer to write `[#:foo 5]` rather than
> > `#:foo [foo 5]`, that is, I don't like the repetition of the name (I
> > first came to Racket precisely to avoid repeating code).
> [...]

> So... What do people think of a `#lang` that is mostly `racket/base`,
> but with a few additions, maybe something like the following?
> * Symbols that start with `:` (and aren't `:` exactly) read as keywords.

-1, I'm fine with reader syntax '#'.

> * The popular `lambda`-ish and `define`-ish forms add support for [what
> Laurent said above]


* The `let`-ish forms add terse support for frequent multiple-value LHS
> (without burdening single-value LHS, nor increasing rightward drift).

+1, yes please.

* The `struct` definition forms also generate constructors with keyword
> arguments for fields.

+1, or by symbol (but keyword is easier to check for correctness at compile
time maybe).

> * Support for embedded documentation for pro (ideally, also `provide`d
> by the module for both Scribble complete document generation and perhaps
> online help fragments), together with shorthand for define+provide+doc
> (and maybe contracts too).

+1, I think.

> * Support for terse embedded unit tests (e.g., you don't have to type
> out `(module+ test` all the time), and some standard lightweight unit
> test definitions (maybe not RackUnit nor Overeasy, since we can improve
> upon both) that work with the Racket package CI stuff.

Dunno, maybe.

> * Maybe have a small language tweak to try to encourage people to know
> what they're doing before they use `eval`, and/or to make the use of
> such a powerful and oft-misused feature by a module more prominent.

That might just need a documentation tweak, like a margin note saying
"Warning: Very often people think of using eval when better, faster and
safer solution are available but depend on the case. Ask for help on the
mailing list <...@...> if your unsure."?

> * Look at making the "info.rkt" metadata optionally embeddable in
> single-source-file packages.  I can talk more about why one might want
> this sometime, but one of the big cases involves lightweight and
> interface-oriented modularity practices by default for well-engineered
> closed-source systems, and low-friction selective open sourcing.  (I
> think this also requires tweaking more than just the `#lang` itself.)

Maybe as a submodule?
I'd be happy with a one-file package; I firmly believe in the
path-of-least-resistance philosophy (allow for quick and dirty first, but
equally importantly also to easily gradually improve).

> * Look at richer version/compatibility specification and confidence for
> package dependencies, and possibly also add in simultaneous multiple
> version support and/or other ways of providing backward compatibility.

Dunno, maybe. There are pros and cons, in terms of complexity.

> * Tolerate square brackets, unless and until we someday find a much
> better use for them (replacing `send` isn't good enough, but maybe
> someday for vectors/arrays in dense numerical work). :)

Not sure what you mean. I use square brackets a lot in `let`, `cond` and
friends. That makes reading much easier to me.

For vectors I sometimes use `@` or `@?` for vector-ref,  `!` or `@!` for
vector-set!, and `@?!` for a vector-update!:
(@?! my-vector index λ(x)(+ (* 2 x) 3))
is even simpler than
my_vector[index] = 2 * my_vector[index]) + 3

Maybe @ variant should be generics though.

While we're on the wish-list:

* Use '_'  in place of '-' for word symbol appending. I've grown unfond of
'-' word separators, and I heretically prefer '_' because I find it
visually easier to group words with '_', and '-' also clashes with the
minus sign, which makes it harder to read calculations. But I usually don't
use '_' to avoid being frown upon too much :-/

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