Racket News - Issue 9

Permalink: https://racket-news.com/2019/06/racket-news-issue-9.html

Welcome to the ninth issue of Racket News.

First and foremost, my apologies for the delay to this issue, which should have come out on the first of the month. Hopefully you are registered to the newsletter and didn’t stress about it because I forewarned you.

I had promised to provide statistics for more repositories besides Racket from this issue onwards but it won’t happen yet. Gustavo Massaccesi asked for this back in issue 5 and I promised to do it but the lack of Github bindings in Racket is delaying the implementation. Vincent St-Amour has pointed to me that some work has been done to obtain some statistics and this definitely helps but I need to GitHub related data like PRs and issues which needs to be implemented. I haven’t time to do this yet so my apologies.

Jesse Alama suggested some time ago that it would be nice to have a link to a Racket donation page, i.e. to donate to the Racket Programming language - not Racket News, which I wholeheartedly agreed with. I have initially decided to include this in the Racket News main page only, instead of including it on every issue. If you have further suggestions related to this I am happy to hear them.

Last week, John Clements reported that the Racket News website was down. Yes, my fault! You might have noticed that I migrated the Racket News repository to Gitlab and while I did this and changed DNS servers, the website went down. The sole reason for the move is to allow for private issues. If you want to submit some issue for my eyes only, until the time comes to be published you can now do so by opening an issue in gitlab and clicking on This issue is confidential and should only be visible to team members with at least Reporter access..

A request for help is due… You might have noticed my poor CSS skills on the webpage. If you have the time and wish to contribute some ideas and fixes to the design and layout of Racket News, I welcome them all.

Now onto the serious business - we have a packed issue. Buckle up, hold on to your seats, grab a triple espresso 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?

  • RacketCon website has been updated with information about keynote, social events and more. Check it out!
  • Jesse Alama has tweeted that Racketfest 2019 proceedings are now available;
  • Matthias Felleisen posted a solution in Racket to the 7GUI problem;
  • Matthew Flatt wants to know if you use single-flonums. Apparently they are a burden to add to ChezScheme and therefore future Racket, therefore if you have a very good reason to keep them join the conversation;
  • John Clements has recently posted some links to Jeremy Siek’s compilers class which uses Racket to compile itself into x86;

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.

  • David Benoit announced the release of Dynamic FFI, a native Racket extension which embeds clang/llvm to parse out declarations from C headers and dynamically build FFI objects with correct type/size information;
raco pkg install dynamic-ffi

Project in the Spotlight

This week’s project in the spotlight is Rebellion, by Jack Firth.

From the documentation:

Rebellion is a set of infrastructure libraries for Racketeers to build new languages, new frameworks, and new tools with.

If that doesn’t say enough, take a look at its documentation.

Featured Racket Paper

As we know, Matthew Flatt has been working relentelessly on Racket-on-Chez - the Racket running on a ChezScheme backend. If we want to understand the future Racket it’s worth it to start by reading up on its foundations. From R. Kent Dybvig, this issue brings us The Development of Chez Scheme.


Chez Scheme is now over 20 years old, the first version having been released in 1985. This paper takes a brief look back on the history of Chez Scheme’s development to explore how and why it became the system it is today.

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 for the month of May, 2019.

Number of master Commits   117
Number of Opened PRs   5
Number of Merged PRs   11
Number of Opened Bugs   9
Number of Closed Bugs   18
Bugs open - currently   319
PRs open - currently   97

Contributions by (13):

  • Alexis King
  • Alex Knauth
  • Ben Greenman
  • Gustavo Massaccesi
  • Jason Hemann
  • Jesse Alama
  • Lukas Lazarek
  • Matthew Flatt
  • Matthias Felleisen
  • Paulo Matos
  • Robby Findler
  • Sam Tobin-Hochstadt
  • 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

  • Stephen De Gabrielle

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.