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Scheme Digest #106
One crucial problem with DEFINEs placed willy-nilly in programs arises from
DEFINE's being an environment mutator. Consider this modification to our
(define (foo bool)
(define (result) #t)
Allowing DEFINEs everywhere gives us a weird sort of dynamic scoping.
Restricting DEFINEs to beginnings of blocks allows us to think of a block
of internal DEFINEs as a LETREC (though CALL/CC may expose implementations
that don't implement these blocks as a LETREC). If Scheme is a statically
scoped language, then this sort of DEFINE is anathema. If Scheme is to
support dynamic scoping, then I think FLUID-LET is cleaner because I don't
have to think about environment mutation.
Top level DEFINEs don't bother me so much because I think of the top level
as a debugger.
-Mark A. Sheldon