Racket News - Issue 8

Permalink: https://racket-news.com/2019/05/racket-news-issue-8.html

Welcome to the eighth issue of Racket News.

This is a shorter issue for RN, given that there weren’t many public developments in Racket land since the last issue. We have however, the first job posting from 27 Candles (see below).

Thank you for all the upvotes in Hacker News for Issue 7 which hit the first page and substantially increased our subscriber count. Therefore a big Hello and double welcome to all the new subscribers.

Go grab yourself a ristretto and enjoy!

Table of Contents

  1. What’s New?
  2. Racket Around the Web
  3. New Releases
  4. Project in the Spotlight
  5. Featured Racket Paper
  6. Upcoming Meetups
  7. Help Needed
  8. Racket Project Statistics
  9. Racket Jobs

What’s New?

Racket around the web

Do you blog about Racket? Let me know!

New Releases

If you know of library releases or maybe your own libraries and you want them to be featured, please let me know.

Project in the Spotlight

This week’s project in the spotlight is Scribble.

From the website:

Scribble is a collection of tools for creating prose documents—papers, books, library documentation, etc.—in HTML or PDF (via Latex) form. More generally, Scribble helps you write programs that are rich in textual content, whether the content is prose to be typeset or any other form of text to be generated programmatically.

Scribble is the tool that powers all the Racket documentation, but its applications are not limited to software documentation. Scribble is shipped with Racket so if you have Racket installed, you are good to go. If not, what are you waiting for?

Featured Racket Paper

This issues’ featured paper is an historical one. DrScheme: A Programming Environment for Scheme is the paper describing the revolutionary IDE targetting students - the one known today as DrRacket. By Robert Findler, John Clements, Cormac Flanagan, Matthew Flatt, Shriram Krishnamurthi, Paul Steckler, and Matthias Felleisen. A preliminary version of this paper appeared in Programming Languages: Implementations, Logics and Programs in 1997. Most of those authors are still powering today the great programming language that we known and love as Racket.


DrScheme is a programming environment for Scheme. It fully integrates a graphics enriched editor, a parser for multiple variants of Scheme, a functional read-eval-print loop, and an algebraic printer. The environment is especially useful for students, because it has a tower of syntactically restricted variants of Scheme that are designed to catch typical student mistakes and explain them in terms the students understand. The environmentis also useful for professional programmers, due to its sophisticated programming tools, such as the static debugger, and its advanced language features, such as units and mixins. Beyond the ordinary programming environment tools, DrScheme provides an algebraic stepper, a context-sensitive syntax checker, and a static debugger. The stepper reduces Scheme programs to values, according to the reduction semantics of Scheme. It is useful for explaining the semantics of linguistic facilities and for studying the behavior of small programs. The syntax checker annotates programs with font and color changes based on the syntactic structure of the program. On demand, it draws arrows that point from bound to binding occurrences of identifiers. It also supports α-renaming. Finally, the static debugger provides a type inference system that explains specific inferences in terms of a value-flow graph, selectively overlaid on the program text.

Please note I am not hosting any of these files, but instead I am linking to the PDFs hosted by the researchers themselves. If you think there is a better way to do this or if I should host the files myself, drop me a line.

Upcoming Meetups

Racket School and RacketCon tickets are now for sale in a website near you. Click on the links below!

  • Racket School 2019 - taught by Racket heavyweights it’s your time to get you #lang-fu up to scratch. Will take place in Salt Lake City, US on July 8–12.
  • RacketCon 2019 - taking place in Salt Lake City, US on July 13, 14, just after Racket School.

Help Needed

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

Racket Project Statistics

Some data about the activity in the Racket repository since the last issue.

Number of master Commits   48
Bugs open - currently   319
PRs open - currently   96

Contributions by (9):

  • Alex Knauth
  • Ben Greenman
  • Jason Hemann
  • Lukas Lazarek
  • Matthew Flatt
  • Matthias Felleisen
  • Paulo Matos
  • Robby Findler
  • sorawee

Of which, making the list the first time this year (3):

  • Jason Hemann
  • Lukas Lazarek
  • sorawee


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

27 Candles, S.A de C.V (Mexico City) - Remote

27 Candles is looking for a data oriented developer with a strong background in Racket and data science. We are offering a remote position with ample vacation and funding for gym memberships, personal growth, and a personal travel budget, as well as a team working on an immense diversity of machine learning problems with bleeding edge tools.

Salary: $60,000 - $80,000 (depending on experience)

Ideal Candidate:

  • Extensive experience designing and implementing DSL’s in Racket
  • Love for language oriented programming
  • 2+ years exp. w/ data engineering or data science
  • Strong Python skills
  • Familiarity with Keras, numpy, pandas
  • Some SQL knowledge
  • Knowledge of statistics
  • R (esp. w/ Shiny) or Julia (esp. w/ Flux) knowledge is a huge plus
  • Open source experience

Basic Requirements:

  • Strong Language Oriented Programming skills in Racket
  • Professional experience in a data-related development role
  • Strong Python skills

We’re looking for someone who wants to leverage the best of language oriented programming to draw insights from massive datasets using deep learning and other ML techniques.

If you’re interested, or even just curious about what we do, send me a message at aalvarado@thinkful.com.

Include: Portfolio, Github, StackOverflow. In the body of the email please provide a description of yourself as a developer (what you like to do, how you got into programming, or whatever else you think is interesting about you).


Thanks to

  • Jérôme Martin

for his contributions to this issue.


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 lang 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.