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Exercise 1.1
Installing a Scheme System


There are many different implementations of Scheme - Scheme Systems - around. It is important for you to install one of them, and to be able to use the installed Scheme system throughout the functional programming part of this course. It is your own choice which Scheme system you wish to use. This exercise is intended to help you, inform you about possibilities, and to locate possible software on the internet.

Racket comes both with a modern and pedagogically supportive IDE - DrRacket - and a more naked Scheme engine (with a REPL - a read-eval-print loop). Racket is probably the Scheme system in most widespread use today. Earlier, Racket was known as PLT Scheme.

Chez Scheme is another nice alternative. It comes as a commercial system, and as a free variant. As of now (August 2017) the commercial system has been turned in to an open-source project at github. The free variant is called Petite Chez Scheme. Direct download link for Petite Chez Scheme: for windows (version 8.4, reviewed August 2017), and for other platforms. Chez Scheme is made by the author of the book The Scheme Programming Language, Kent Dybvig.

Independent of the Scheme system you use, it is recommended to develop programs in a two-pane setup. In one pane you write your Scheme source programs. In the other, you run the REPL (Read-Eval-Print-Loop) - the Scheme interpreter. There must be (will be) flexible ways to load the Scheme program (incrementally or totally) from the source pane to the REPL pane. DrRacket supports this setup.

I always use Scheme from my favorite text editor, which happens to be GNU Emacs. There is a simple addition to your .emacs file which may be helpful, in case you want to program in Scheme using Emacs. Due to software I have developed over many years, I still tend to use an early version of Racket/PLT Scheme: MzScheme version 209.

When you have installed a Scheme system, be sure to give it a try. Start with some existing examples (from a possible example dir, from the text book, or from these notes). Load the Scheme forms into your REPL and evaluate them.


There is no solution to this exercise