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FAQ: Scheme Frequently Asked Questions 1/2 [Monthly posting]

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;;; ****************************************************************
;;; Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Scheme *************
;;; ****************************************************************
;;; Written by Mark Kantrowitz and Barry Margolin
;;; scheme_1.faq 

This post contains part 1 of the Scheme FAQ.

If you think of questions that are appropriate for this FAQ, or would
like to improve an answer, please send email to us at

Note that the lisp-faq mailing list is for discussion of the content
of the FAQ posting only.  It is not the place to ask questions about Scheme;
use either the mailing list, the comp.lang.scheme
newsgroup or the Scheme Digest ( for that. If a
question appears frequently in one of those forums, it will get added
to the FAQ list. 

*** Copyright:

Copyright (c) 1993-94 by Mark Kantrowitz and Barry Margolin. 
All rights reserved. 

This FAQ may be freely redistributed in its entirety without
modification provided that this copyright notice is not removed.  It
may not be sold for profit or incorporated in commercial documents
(e.g., published for sale on CD-ROM, floppy disks, books, magazines,
or other print form) without the prior written permission of the
copyright holder.  Permission is expressly granted for this document
to be made available for file transfer from installations offering
unrestricted anonymous file transfer on the Internet.

If this FAQ is reproduced in offline media (e.g., CD-ROM, print form,
etc.), a complimentary copy should be sent to Mark Kantrowitz, School
of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Avenue,
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3891 USA.

This article is provided AS IS without any express or implied warranty.

*** Topics Covered:

Topics Covered (Part 1):
  [1-0]   What is the purpose of this newsgroup?
  [1-2]   What is the difference between Scheme and Common Lisp?
  [1-3]   Scheme books, introductions, documentation, periodicals,
          journals, and conference proceedings. 
  [1-4]   Where can I learn about implementing Scheme interpreters and 
  [1-7]   Standards for Scheme -- What are R4RS and IEEE P1178?
  [1-8]   How do I do object-oriented programming in Scheme?
  [1-9]   Repositories of Scheme Software
  [1-10]  Publicly Redistributable Scheme Software
  [1-11]  Formatting code in LaTeX (WEB and other literate programming tools)
  [1-12]  Where can I get an implementation of Prolog in Scheme?
  [1-13]  What does SICP, SCOOPS, R4RS, CAR, CDR, ... mean?
  [1-14]  Why is there no EVAL in Scheme?
  [1-15]  World-Wide Web (WWW) Resources
  [1-16]  Why is Scheme called 'Scheme'?

Topics Covered (Part 2):
  [2-1]   Free Scheme implementations.
  [2-2]   Commercial Scheme implementations.
  [2-3]   What Scheme-related discussion groups and mailing lists exist?

Search for \[#\] to get to question number # quickly.

*** Recent Changes:

;;; 1.19:
;;; 20-OCT-94 mk    Added FTP location for Scheme84.
;;;  3-NOV-94 mk    FTP collections on have moved to
;;;  3-NOV-94 mk    Added Christian Queinnec's Lisp book to [1-4].
;;; 1.20:
;;; 15-NOV-94 mk    Updated location of Ken Dickey article.
;;; 1.21:
;;; 22-NOV-94 mk    Scheme Repository at Indiana University WWW page.
;;;  7-DEC-94 mk    Updated EdScheme entry in [2-2].
;;; 1.22:
;;; 16-JAN-95 mk    Updated Schemers entry. 
;;; 31-JAN-95 mk    Added Manis' book to [1-3].
;;; 1.23:
;;; 13-MAR-95 mk    Updated EdScheme and 3DScheme for Windows in part 2.
;;;  7-APR-95 mk    Added Scsh entry provided by Olin Shivers to [2-1].
;;; 1.24:
;;; 14-APR-95 mk    Updated description of the Schemer's Guide.
;;; 1.25:
;;; 13-JUL-95 mk    Updated 3d-Scheme entry in part 2.
;;; 1.26:
;;; 17-AUG-95 mk    Updated ELK entry in part 2.
;;; 11-SEP-95 mk    Updated EdScheme and 3DScheme for Windows entries in part
;;;                 2.
;;; 19-FEB-96 mk    Updated Schemer's entry in part 2.
;;; 19-MAR-96 mk    Added entry on comp.lang.scheme.scsh to part 2.
;;; 13-NOV-96 mk    Added entry for MzScheme.
;;; 30-APR-97 mk    Added Inlab Scheme to [2-2].

*** Introduction:

Certain questions and topics come up frequently in the various network
discussion groups devoted to and related to Scheme.  This file/article is
an attempt to gather these questions and their answers into a convenient
reference for Scheme programmers.  It (or a reference to it) is posted
periodically.  The hope is that this will cut down on the user time and
network bandwidth used to post, read and respond to the same questions
over and over, as well as providing education by answering questions
some readers may not even have thought to ask.

This is not a Scheme tutorial, nor is it an exhaustive list of all Scheme
intricacies.  Scheme is a very powerful and expressive language, but with
that power comes many complexities.  This list attempts to address the
ones that average Scheme programmers are likely to encounter.  If you are
new to Scheme, see the answer to the question "How can I learn
Scheme?" [1-3].

The latest version of this file is available via anonymous FTP from CMU: 

   To obtain the files from CMU, connect by anonymous FTP to  []
   using username "anonymous" and password "name@host" (substitute your
   email address) or via AFS in the Andrew File System directory
   and get the files scheme_1.faq and scheme_2.faq.

You can also obtain a copy of the FAQ by sending a message to with 
   Send Scheme FAQ
in the message body.

An automatically generated HTML version of the Scheme FAQ is accessible by
WWW as part of the AI-related FAQs Mosaic page. The URL for this
resource is
The direct URL for the Lisp FAQ is

We've tried to minimize the overlap with the FAQ postings to the
comp.lang.lisp, comp.lang.clos and newsgroups, so if you don't
find what you're looking for here, we suggest you try the FAQs for
those newsgroups. These FAQs should be available by anonymous ftp from []
in the lisp-faq/, ai-faq/ and scheme-faq/ subdirectories or by email.
For instructions on email retrieval, send a mail message to with "help" and "index" on separate lines in
the body of the message.

If you need to cite the FAQ for some reason, use the following format:
   Mark Kantrowitz and Barry Margolin, "Answers to Frequently Asked
   Questions about Scheme", comp.lang.scheme, <month>, <year>,,

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic:

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:12 PM