Racket Improves Load Speeds
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Tuesday, 03 May 2022

Racket has been updated with improvements including a flag to improve load speeds and extensions to the use of Racket 'Chez Scheme' (CS).

Racket is described as a “full-spectrum programming language” that goes beyond Lisp and Scheme with dialects that support objects, types and laziness. When coding in it, you can link components written in different dialects, and write your own project-specific dialect if you want. The Racket libraries support applications from web servers and databases to GUIs and charts.

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The new release has added a flag that automatically keeps compiled files up to date, reducing subsequent load times. The new release also adds support for error-message realms. These allow Racket-hosted languages to adapt and rewrite error messages to make sense in a particular context.

The use of Racket CS (Chez Scheme) has been extended to enable it to run on platforms where native-code generation is not currently supported such as s390x and ppc64. Chez Scheme was originally adopted in Racket 8.0. It is an implementation of the Scheme programming language, which was bought by Cisco and made available under an open-source license in 2016. At that point, the Racket developers decided that they would modify Racket, moving away from its own C-based foundation to use Chez Scheme instead. This involved rewriting the elements of Racket that were written in C either to be rewritten in Racket or in Chez Scheme, depending on which was possible. The task took four years, and the result was a language that is faster, easier to maintain and develop, and compatible with existing Racket programs.

Other improvements to the new release add support for the XML library for typed Racket; the addition of violin plots and improved box-and-whisker plots to the Plot module; and the addition of support for boxes alongside lists, vectors etc. in place-channel messages.

Racket 8.5 is available now. 

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More Information

Racket

Racket on GitHub

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