Subject: Re: Lisp & SICP
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 2000/05/18
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Shelly Somerville <>
| Thank you.   Do you have a reccomendation for a Scheme interpreter?

  Since I read and worked with the first edition of SICP, I am partial
  to the _very_ good MIT Scheme implementation, which was also used in
  the book.  Since then, the second edition of SICP is out and it uses
  R5RS¹ Scheme, MIT Scheme was no longer supported on the platforms I
  use (only Microsoft-free computers!) the last time I checked, and I
  have come to dislike Scheme intensely over the past 6 years or so.

  I would recommend that you ask in comp.lang.scheme, and request info
  on Scheme environments that are actually supported, not just toys or
  research vehicles.  I haven't been following the Scheme "evolution"
  closely for quite some time, and wouldn't know which environments
  are the better these days.  All I have noticed is that there is no
  change to the plethora of _really_ crummy ones implemented by people
  who get a fascination with the implementability of the language
  rather than its usability.  (This is a reason not to use Scheme!)

  Please note that although "interpreter" is not strictly _wrong_,
  both Lisp and Scheme are usually compiled these days, and you are
  better off if you avoid interpreter-only environments.  A good
  native compiler is hard to write and unlikely to be a crummy
  implementation of Scheme, while an interpreter is much too easy.

  Good luck with SICP, and if you decide not to hang around while you
  study with Scheme: welcome back when you're ready to graduate into
  Common Liop.

¹ Expands to Revised Revised Revised Revised Revised Report on Scheme.
  If this is not what you expected, please alter your expectations.