Doesn't tell you what you need, doesn't suggest anything. Just "Scheme", that's it.
Yeah it more or less is intended. SICP is about as close as most books come to being that mythical "general-purpose" programming guide, so it's intentionally distanced from details like which implementation to use (also, it was originally a university textbook: your professor is probably expected to have handled this detail already).
On the plus side, this means you don't actually need to use MIT/GNU Scheme. Any reasonably standard Scheme will handle the examples pretty much the same way. My personal favourite is Gambit
; another good option might be SISC
, which you can play with in your browser.
These ones don't come with an editor, but Notepad++ has a Scheme language mode so you should be OK starting with that (most of the early exercises will only need the REPL anyway). Once you get onto larger things, I have found the SchemeWay plugin
for Eclipse to be pretty good.
Do I have to get an older version of the language, or does Scheme not really change in all this time?
Scheme has changed, but not that much. The best version for use with SICP is R5RS, which is the most common version (all three named above implement that). R6RS is newer but that's the big flamewar-inducing change to the language mentioned previously. The only thing to be really worried about is whether an implementation has full
conformance to the standard, because SICP will make heavy use of things like tail-calls and first-class continuations, that many implementations leave out
because they're harder to implement correctly.
edited 3rd Jun '11 4:51:11 AM by Jinren