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Scheme is a small, lexically scoped dialect of Lisp that is based on the principle that a programming language should not include everything but the kitchen sink, but rather it should provide a framework in which it is easy to build the kitchen sink.

Programming languages should be designed not by piling feature on top of feature, but by removing the weaknesses and restrictions that make additional features appear necessary. Scheme demonstrates that a very small number of rules for forming expressions, with no restrictions on how they are composed, suffice to form a practical and efficient programming language that is flexible enough to support most of the major programming paradigms in use today. [3]

These properties make Scheme a good general purpose programming language and also an ideal extension language. Its conceptual simplicity allows it to be implemented with a relatively small number of lines of code, while providing powerful high level programming constructs such as procedures that can be nested and used as first class values, and high-level data structures like lists, vectors and strings. It also removes the burden of memory management from the programmer, usually through some sort of garbage collector.

Scheme supports all major programming paradigms in use today including functional, procedural, and object oriented. It scales well from small applications to large software systems.

Brent Benson
Mon Sep 19 16:03:14 EDT 1994