( History of Guile and its motivations

Info Catalog ( What are scripting and extension languages ( Introduction ( How to characterize Guile
 2.2 History of Guile and its motivations
 A few separate threads of events led to the development of Guile.
   In the fall of 1994, Richard Stallman, director of the GNU project,
 posted an article with the subject "Why you should not use Tcl", in
 which he argued that Tcl is inadequate as an extension language.  This
 generated a flurry of flames (available in the hypermail archive
 (`') *The Tcl War*).  
   The result was that Stallman then proposed his design for the GNU
 Extension Language, first called GEL and then renamed Guile.  The
 discussion triggered by that article is also available in a hypermail
 archive, `'.
   One interesting feature of this GNU Extension Language plan was that
 users should have a _choice_ of languages to use in extending their
 program.  The basic language would be a slightly modified Scheme, and
 translators would be written to convert other languages (like Tcl,
 Python, Perl, C-like languages ...) into Scheme.
   Tom Lord started working on this project immediately, taking Aubrey
 Jaffer's small and portable implementation of Scheme, SCM, and making it
 into an embeddable interpreter: callable from C and allowing new Scheme
 procedures to be written in C.  
   In the spring of 1995, the guile-ii snapshot was released.  This made
 it possible to start writing code in C and Scheme using the guile
   The guile-iii snapshot was released the summer of 1995, and it had
 fixed enough problems so that the access to Scheme data structures from
 C was almost complete.
   After this, Cygnus Support added many features to Guile and finished
 implementing others, so that Guile acquired thread support, a regular
 expression matcher, a Tk interface, an interface to the SGI OpenGL
 graphics system, an _applet_ formalism, and some other packages.  This
 was all in the Cygnus Guile r0.3 and r0.4 releases.  
   Meanwhile, Tom Lord left the project after having produced a divergent
 version of Guile: 1.0b2.  The Free Software Foundation hired Jim Blandy
 to coordinate Guile development.  The FSF released its first version of
 Guile in January 1997.  In the future, many of the Cygnus packages will
 be re-integrated into Guile.  
Info Catalog ( What are scripting and extension languages ( Introduction ( How to characterize Guile
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