Syntax highlighter

2013-05-16

Should let-syntax family make a scope?

On R7RS ML, there was a discussion for this topic and I'm wondering about it.

On current draft of R7RS, it says 'The let-syntax and letrec-syntax binding constructs are anologous to let and letrec' so I would say it should make a scope. However the reference implementation, Chibi Scheme, doesn't.

Following quote is from the ML:
Please try to keep a grip on the fact that R7RS-small `let-syntax`, like the R5RS version, is a scope rather than being spliced into the surrounding scope. See ticket #48 and WG1Ballot2Results.

From http://lists.scheme-reports.org/pipermail/scheme-reports/2013-May/003439.html
However, seeing this issue from Chibi Scheme, it's not making a scope intentionally.

The reason I'm wondering about it is actually I don't want to make a scope for neither let-syntax nor letrec-syntax. Current compiler checks the mode and switches the path. Well, it's not heavy operation so it won't improve much performance if I remove it (just a tiny bit). However it does make a big change to write some memory efficient code.

Let's say you want to write sort of following code:
#!r6rs
(library (foo)
    (export command1 command2)
    (import (rnrs))
  (letrec-syntax ((define-command
                    (syntax-rules ()
                      ((_ name body ...)
                       (define name (lambda () body ...))))))
    (define-command command1 (display 'command1) (newline))
    (define-command command2 (display 'command2) (newline))))
This only works when you put #!r6rs annotation on the library defined file (I'm talking about Sagittarius). So, if you want to make some keyword argument or so, then you need to remove the annotation and make define-command global binding.

You might say, "as long as you don't export define-command, then it won't harm your code.", well sort of yes. The problem is acutally on cache file. If you define global macros, then cache file must contain it since we can access it without exporting, using with-library macro. (I know it's a back door stuff, but it's sometimes convenient!) However, if we use let-syntax then cache file won't have it because all local macros are already expanded.

On Sagittarius, if you really don't want to export internal macro you need to write it like above in R6RS mode. Then you don't have any chance to use keyword features.

Should I follow Chibi's behaviour or what R7RS (implicitly) says?

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