posted by Eli Barzilay
PLT is happy to announce the release of Racket, available from
With Racket, you can script command shells and web servers; you can quickly prototype animations and complex GUIs; regexps and threads are here to serve you. To organize your systems, you can mix and match classes, modules or components. Best of all, you start without writing down types. If you later wish to turn your script into a program, equip your Racket modules with explicit type declarations as you wish. And Racket doesn’t just come as a typed variant; you can also write your modules in a purely functional and lazy dialect.
Racket comes in so many flavors because Racket is much more than a standard scripting language or a plain programming language. Racket supports language extensibility to an unequaled degree. A Racket programmer knows that making up a new language is as easy as writing a new library.
To help you start quickly, Racket includes batteries in all shapes and sizes, most importantly, extensive documentation and all kinds of libraries.
Racket occupies a unique position between research and practice. It inherits many major ideas from language research, among them type safety (when the type system says that x is a number, then at runtime it always is a number) and memory safety (when some memory is reclaimed by the garbage collector it is impossible to still have a reference to it). At the same time, user demand governs rigid adherence to purely theoretical principles.
Racket, formerly PLT Scheme, is a product of over 15 years of development. Although Racket starts with a mature software base and an established user community, its new name reflects our view that this is just the beginning of Racket’s evolution.
Why call it Racket?
— Steve Knight, 8 June 2010
— Robby, 8 June 2010
I don’t mind the name change per se, but typing “racket” in Google understandably returns links to tennis and sports. :-) (Yeah, I know “plt racket” works better.)
Now if they just decide to add a grid widget and cross-platform ODBC support, I’d be a happy camper…
— robwalker01, 8 June 2010
Besides the name, what is diferent from version 4.5?
— claudio.naoto, 8 June 2010
There were the usual bug fixes here and there, but you’re right that this release cycle was mostly the work of renaming things. (4.2.5 was the previous release, tho).
— Robby, 8 June 2010
Racket is just an organized scheme. The name still brings up connotations of something nefarious. What is in a name? I’m good with it if it continues to run on a proper OpenBSD platform. Will Apple let something, so expressive as ‘Racket’, the honor of being available from their apps store, for use with the iPad? Now that would be the app to write, however, unless Apple has changed their minds, no interpretive languages, that I’m aware of, have made it to iTunes. I wonder if they would allow a syntax informed code editor to be offered for the iPad. If they actually could keep folks from hacking their product, then they might have my support; but they can’t put enough restraints on their SDK, to adequatelty maintain system security, so why bother with the silly attempts at maintaining control. I believe the answer can be seen with clarity if one looks at a five year chart of Apple stock. If you wish to call it Racket, then let’s make some noise with it. You really do need to offer for sale Racket logo’d posters, cups, t-shirts, baseball hats, and stickers for my four year old son.
— Kyle Smith, 17 June 2010