My resignation letter as R7RS-large chair

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John Cowan

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Aug 15, 2023, 8:06:33 AM8/15/23
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This is my resignation letter as chair of the R7RS-large project.  I have come to the conclusion that I can no longer serve as Chair.  I am exhausted by the effort, and I do not think that there is any further hope that I can get sufficient agreement among the different players to have any hope of coming to a conclusion.  On the contrary, agreement is further away than ever, and people's views are more and more entrenched.

I was planning to wait until the 21st to announce this, but I don't think there's any further point in waiting.  It will be up to the Steering Committee to find someone to replace me or to officially abandon the project.  I have no recommendations at this time.

Consequently, I will not be presenting anything at ICFP this year.

Taylan Kammer

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Aug 15, 2023, 12:45:29 PM8/15/23
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Dear John,

Thank you for all your service over the years!

Regardless of any disagreements, it was always a pleasure to communicate with you.
I believe you've always done a stellar job being friendly and patient with everyone,
trying to reconcile disagreements. When ever that didn't work, it was certainly not
your fault; I hope everyone can at least agree on that. :-)

--
Taylan

Arthur A. Gleckler

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Aug 15, 2023, 1:01:22 PM8/15/23
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Thank you, John, for your Herculean efforts during well over ten years.  It has been a great pleasure to be part of the process that you have so ably led.  Your vast knowledge of the topics of Scheme standardization, Scheme history, the details of various implementations; your prodigious output of SRFIs and other proposals; the friendly, open, and fair manner in which you have run the process; and the improvements in our collective vocabulary just from reading your messages have all been impressive to behold.

Per Bothner

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Aug 15, 2023, 1:19:19 PM8/15/23
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On 8/15/23 10:01, Arthur A. Gleckler wrote:
> Thank you, John, for your Herculean efforts during well over ten years.  It has been a great pleasure to be part of the process that you have so ably led.  Your vast knowledge of the topics of Scheme standardization, Scheme history, the details of various implementations; your prodigious output of SRFIs and other proposals; the friendly, open, and fair manner in which you have run the process; and the improvements in our collective vocabulary just from reading your messages have all been impressive to behold.

I spite of my expressed concerns about R7RS-large, I fully agree with what Arthur has written above.
I feel for your disappointment of giving up on something you have put so much effort in:
It was a noble effort, and we have all learned a lot. If nothing else,
you can take well-deserved satisfaction in shepherding R7RS-small. Thank you.
--
--Per Bothner
p...@bothner.com http://per.bothner.com/

Jason Hemann

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Aug 15, 2023, 2:23:26 PM8/15/23
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Dear John,

You've given a huge amount of time and effort to the scheme community, and we are the better for it. I've enjoyed following these efforts in part because of the open, earnest, and convivial manner that you've brought to this committee over the years; "Thank you for your service" is supremely apt. 

Best,

Jason Hemann

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Jay Freeman

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Aug 15, 2023, 2:25:56 PM8/15/23
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John:

A valiant effort, I am sure, and thanks for your efforts and for your occasional good advice to me about Wraith Scheme (some of which I even took). As an experienced cat-owner, I can imagine what you must have gone through trying to get a substantial herd of critters as ornery as them or me to settle down ...

-- Jay Reynolds Freeman
---------------------
Jay_Reynol...@mac.com
http://JayReynoldsFreeman.com
(personal web site)

On Aug 15, 2023, at 5:06 AM, John Cowan <co...@ccil.org> wrote:


This is my resignation letter as chair of the R7RS-large project.  [...]

Dr. Arne Babenhauserheide

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Aug 15, 2023, 3:26:12 PM8/15/23
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Interacting with you (or just reading how you interacted with others)
was always a pleasure and I have the highest respect for your work,
John. I like the vision of R7RS-large a lot and I’m sorry that I could
not support you better.

Thank you for being there and making a difference, and thank you for
your awesome work.

The best of wishes for your future projects,
Arne
--
Unpolitisch sein
heißt politisch sein,
ohne es zu merken.
draketo.de
signature.asc

Lassi Kortela

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Aug 15, 2023, 3:30:21 PM8/15/23
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>> Thank you, John, for your Herculean efforts during well over ten
>> years.  It has been a great pleasure to be part of the process that
>> you have so ably led.  Your vast knowledge of the topics of Scheme
>> standardization, Scheme history, the details of various
>> implementations; your prodigious output of SRFIs and other proposals;
>> the friendly, open, and fair manner in which you have run the process;
>> and the improvements in our collective vocabulary just from reading
>> your messages have all been impressive to behold.

> I spite of my expressed concerns about R7RS-large, I fully agree with
> what Arthur has written above.
> I feel for your disappointment of giving up on something you have put so
> much effort in:
> It was a noble effort, and we have all learned a lot. If nothing else,
> you can take well-deserved satisfaction in shepherding R7RS-small.
> Thank you.

Agreed on all counts.

When I came on the scene the default attitude among schemers was to have
endless turf wars about which implementation is 15% sparklier than
another. John's example in particular stood out like a lighthouse above
these rough seas. Instead of infighting, you have always been a tireless
champion of improving the whole. That's what it's all about. At the end
of the day, what's of value to humanity is a better overall language
with less friction and you have been working on exactly that.

Thank you in particular for giving new generations of schemers a chance
at a point when many old timers have given up hope that things will ever
improve. We will try our best to continue on the path you have laid, and
look forward to your participation should you find the time and energy
to make more contributions. Your massive knowledge base covering any
number of topics with precise recall has been an invaluable help on more
occasions than I can count.

I apologize for the unpleasant exchanges on R7RS-large. I would never
judge a project so harshly if it were not laying claim to the name of
Scheme. I am motivated by a sincere worry that the R6/R7 split will turn
into an R7/R8 split, and have tried my best to exhaust the polite
avenues for expressing that concern. I agree that a huge library is a
desirable thing and would be happy to see that goal come about through a
process fit for the purpose.

Vincent Manis

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Aug 15, 2023, 4:47:40 PM8/15/23
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 I'm a bit late to this conversation. First, I definitely appreciate all John's efforts as Chair; I recognize how difficult it must have been, and how wearing all of this must have been on him. Second, regardless of our progress so far, I always find myself turning to John's emails for a spot of wisdom, and I thank him greatly for all his insights. I do hope that will continue.

I guess the status of WG2 is up in the air right now, and that it is up to the Steering Committee to decide what to do. In the event that they don't decide to wind the working group up, I hope that they give it some direction, perhaps by asking for a detailed plan of work to be produced within a set time after agreeing to continue the WG and naming a new Chair. I would hope that, with some degree of focus demanded of us, we can produce something worthwhile.

-- vincent

Alex Shinn

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Aug 16, 2023, 3:59:20 PM8/16/23
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Thank you John, for all your hard work over the years, both in WG1 and WG2.  It was a pleasure to serve with you, and Scheme is a better and richer language because of your efforts.

I sympathize with your frustrations, and only wish I had had the time myself to contribute more.  I wish you happiness on whatever endeavor you find next.

--
Alex

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amirouche...@gmail.com

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Sep 13, 2023, 1:42:35 PM9/13/23
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Thanks to you, I up'ed my soft, and hard skills. It was a pleasure to scheme with you as chair. I hope our paths will cross again.

(john-unfold ...)
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