Racket News - Issue 1

Permalink: https://racket-news.com/2019/02/racket-news-issue-1.html

Welcome to the first issue of Racket News. I am hoping this will be of interest to everyone in the Racket community so if there’s something you really dislike, or something you want to see added to the newsletter please send me an email or submit a PR.

Also, I think at the moment a bi-weekly or monthly newsletter is something reasonable. By this, I mean that I should have time to put it together at this regular interval with enough interesting content. If things happen differently when I will change how often it comes out.

In this issue, we have the Racket 7.2 release, update on RacketCS, and a few extra goodies that came out recently.

What’s New?

Racket 7.2 released

Racket 7.2 has been released! Vincent St-Amour has announced the release on January 30, 2019. The listed improvements include collapsible contracts, QuickScript integration, and various improvements to racklog, among others.


This week we saw an update on Racket-On-Chez by Matthew Flatt. For those who missed the boat, the whole point of this transition is maintainability. Hopefully, with a more maintainable system, things will get easier for those currently contributing to Racket but also newcomers to Racket might more easily contribute PRs to improve the system in general.

The summary on the report is that Racket on Chez is considered mostly done with all functionality in place and most tests passing. There are a few things where RacketCS won’t behave the same as current Racket:

  • no single-precision or extended-precision flonums;

  • some differences in the FFI;

  • no support for C API;

There are a few other incompatible points but for more detail please refer to the original post. RacketCS will never be fully compatible with Racket, therefore the whole point is to get people to move their stuff to RacketCS and get rid of the current Racket variant.

However, there are some performance issues that might block a few applications from transitioning right away. Alex Harsanyi, developer of ActivityLog2 mentioned in the mailing list that in his case RacketCS is significantly slower than Racket 7.1. Matthew promised in a reply no switch will happen until performance is good enough. Alex elaborated his point further by providing function timings of ActivityLog2 in this gist.


Stephen de Gabrielle has been seriously active on the wiki side of things. It has some really interesting content and you should check it out.

Racket Github Topic

Stephen de Gabrielle has beautified the GitHub topic for Racket through a PR.

Upcoming Meetups

Racket around the web

Here are a few blog posts about Racket...

Project of the Week

We all know how there are so many hidden gems in the Racket world. I hope, in this section, to make these gems shine, one at a time.

So for this week I chose to mention: Rash by William Hatch.

From its webpage:

Rash is a shell language, library, and REPL for Racket.


Use as a repl that is as convenient for pipelining programs as Bash is, but has all the power of Racket. Use as a scripting language with #lang rash. Embed in normal Racket files with (require rash), and mix freely with any other Racket language or library.


Rash is in active development, but it is largely stable (and the parts that aren't are marked as such). I use it as my default interactive shell on my laptop. It currently lacks the interactive polish of Zsh or Fish, but it is so much better as a language. Every script I've ported from a bourne-related shell to Rash is more robust, simpler, easier to maintain, easier to expand, and much more fun.

I have used it on a regular basis to easily access the shell from Racket and it is brilliant. Check it out!

Help Needed

Do you know a project looking for contributors? I would love to hear about it.

  • Racket News: Besides the obvious, What would you like to see next? I could use a hand to design some sort of logo and maybe make suggestions with regards to the website design. Using Frog with the Clean blog bootstrap4 theme but I am definitely way out of my league as soon as I need to do any CSS or design.

Stats of mention

Here is some data from the development of Racket for the month of January, 2019.

Number of master Commits


Number of Opened PRs


Number of Merged PRs


Number of Opened Bugs


Number of Closed Bugs


Bugs open


PRs open


Contributions by (12):
  • Ben Greenman

  • dharmatech

  • Greg Hendershott

  • Gustavo Massaccesi

  • Jay McCarthy

  • Matthew Flatt

  • Robby Findler

  • rxg

  • Ryan Culpepper

  • Spencer Florence

  • Vincent St-Amour

  • Winny


If you want to advertise any Racket related jobs, please send me an email or submit a PR.


This issue is brought to you by Paulo Matos. Any mistakes or inaccuracies are solely mine and they do not represent the views of the PLT team, who develop Racket.

I have also tried to survey the most relevant things that happened in Racket-lan(g|d) recently. If you have done something awesome, wrote a blog post or seen something that I missed - my apologies. Let me know so I can rectify it in the next issue.


Have you seen something cool related Racket? Send it in and we will feature it in the next issue.