General Question

Mariah's avatar

Is the programming language Racket used in the real world?

Asked by Mariah (19099 points ) January 18th, 2012

I’m learning Racket in a class now. I like it because it’s simple, but many people complain that the skill doesn’t translate well to learning other languages (the syntax is very different from C++, which is the only other language I’m familiar with), and that Racket itself is not a very useful language to know because it’s not used in the “real world.” Are there real-world applications for Racket? What are they?

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8 Answers

phaedryx's avatar

Hmm, I’ve never heard of it before (but there are a lot of languages out there).

It’s not in the top 50 on the TIOBE index, but it is currently #46 on github’s popularity list so there are people using it. Sounds like it is an interesting language for teaching concepts, but isn’t used a whole lot.

If you’re looking for real world applications, they are probably somewhere in here: https://github.com/languages/Racket

ratboy's avatar

There’s an interesting article on Racket in the current issue of CACM; it illustrates the use of Racket by stepping through the development of a game:

The text-adventure example presented here illustrates the progression from a simple embedding in Racket to a separate domain-specific language (including IDE support for syntax coloring), explaining relevant Racket details along the way; no prior knowledge of Racket is necessary. Readers who prefer a more complete introduction to the language should consult The Racket Guide.

GrayTax's avatar

Well, I think I’ve just found what I’m going to be spending the next week or so doing; I’ve always wanted to make a text-adventure game…

On topic, it seems like @ratboy‘s linked article suggests that Racket is more similar to other game-developing languages than the traditional general use ones (though I could be completely wrong on that front).

phaedryx's avatar

Hmm, I looked at it a little bit more, but I don’t see how it is significantly better/different than any other LISP dialect. If I was going to learn something LISP-y and more practical, I’d personally go for clojure (currently ranked #22 on github).

HungryGuy's avatar

Sorry, never heard of it. And I’m a software developer by profession. Although what languages are “hot” today will be gone tomorrow, you want to learn the “hot” languages while they’re “hot” so you can get a job when you graduate and then let your skills evolve with the industry… A few years ago, some schools were pushing ASPX.NET as the web language to end all web languages. Guess what? A largely home-grown language took the development community by storm and is what has become PHP as nearly the de-facto web development platform along with MySQL.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
kgashok's avatar

There’s an answer over at SO which might also be helpful – link

greyfade's avatar

The only major publicly-discussed use of Racket (before the name was changed from MzScheme) that I’m personally aware of, is in Naughty Dog’s PS3-exclusive Uncharted series of games. Almost all of the game logic is written in the MzScheme dialect. Their newest game, Last of Us, seems to use the same game engine, so it probably also uses MzScheme or has possibly been updated to a more recent Racket version.

I feel compelled to also point out that just because Scheme doesn’t have syntax similar to C-like languages doesn’t mean that the experience of learning a language like Scheme is useless. In fact, the new perspectives that Lisp and Scheme dialects give you in how you write software serve to actually make your skills more robust in other areas, even if you don’t use Lisp or Scheme professionally in your career.

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