Joy and reflection Lassi Kortela 28 Apr 2019 13:17 UTC

Frank added new stuff to the aggregated package listing again, and
browsing it suddenly made me very happy. It provides a glimpse and
confirmation of the vision I've had all along.

People draw impressions and make decisions based on mental pictures.
This affects our feelings of confidence, security, accomplishment and
motivation. Those feelings imbue life with a sense of direction and
meaning which fundamentally affects where we allocate our time.

The challenge Scheme has had is that we have a lot of good stuff but
it's largely hidden from view. So when people without significant Scheme
experience try to picture it in their minds, they draw a blank, or
perhaps a hazy vision of past glory and present ambivalence. Aggregating
all things Scheme onto one website will refresh that vision with a vivid
picture of a lively and featureful language with a great community.

As information is added, browsing the package listing is starting to
feel more and more like languages with bigger communities (there are
currently over 1000 packages in it). Once we can integrate Arthur's
excellent SRFI listings, the implementation metadata, documentation and
search for all of these things as well as equivalent REPL and editor
hooks, a lot more experienced programmers and adventurous novices are
going to be looking favorably at Scheme. Many of them will get addicted
thanks to Scheme's intrinsic merits. And the community's internal
motivation ought to be boosted when the sum total of the fruits of our
labor is on clear display. Now and then it feels lonely and tiresome to
work on a little corner of the world for weeks on end, but when you can
directly grasp the big picture into which your puzzle piece is going,
there are few other things that can motivate a person so much. What few
differences there are between proponents of different standards and
implementations, I hope we can put them aside for this project and
gradually come to agree that in the end we all win when Scheme wins.

For me this milestone (searching for a feeling, which the package
listing has now homed in on) vindicates these past couple months of
frenzied and occasionally bizarre-looking activity that we often did by
guesswork and with no certain payoff. It gives newfound confidence that
we have all been doing valuable work for a good cause with a solid strategy.

I can't wait to show everyone that their picture of Lisp in the dustbin
of computer history needs an update. I hope you will stick around so
together we can get the job done faster :)