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10.1 R7RS integration

10.1.1 Traveling between two worlds back and forth

When you start Gauche, either in REPL or as a script, you’re in user module, which inherits gauche module. Likewise, when you read a library, the initial module inherits gauche module (until you call select-module). That’s why you can access all the built-in procedures of Gauche without saying (use something). (See Module inheritance, for the details about inheriting modules).

On the other hand, R7RS requires to be explicit about which namespaces you’ll be using, by import form, e.g. (import (scheme base)). Besides, R7RS library must be explicitly enclosed by define-library form. Before the first import form of a program, or outside of define-library, is beyond R7RS world—the standard defines nothings about it.

These facts let Gauche to set up appropriate “world”, and you can use R7RS code and traditional Gauche code transparently.

NB: As explained in Three import forms, R7RS import is rather different from Gauche import, so we note the former r7rs#import and the latter gauche#import in this section for clarity. When you write code don’t use prefixes r7rs# and gauche#; just write import.

Loading R7RS libraries

The define-library form is defined as a macro in gauche module; it sets up R7RS environment before evaluating its contents. So, when you load an R7RS library (either from Gauche code via use form, or from R7RS code via r7rs#import form), Gauche starts loading the file in gauche module, but immediately see define-library form, and the rest is handled in R7RS environment.

Suppose you have an R7RS library (mylib foo) with the following code:

(define-library (mylib foo)
  (import (scheme base))
  (export snoc)
    (define (snoc x y) (cons y x))))

It should be saved as mylib/foo.scm in one of the directories in *load-path*.

From R7RS code, this library can be loaded by r7rs#import:

(import (mylib foo))

(snoc 1 2) ⇒ (2 . 1)

To use this library from Gauche code, concatenate elements of library names by . to get a module name, and use it:


(snoc 1 2) ⇒ (2 . 1)

Loading Gauche libraries

To use Gauche library from R7RS code, split the module name by . to make a list for the name of the library. For example, gauche.lazy module can be used from R7RS as follows:

(import (gauche lazy))

For SRFI modules, R7RS implementations have a convention to name it as (srfi n), and Gauche follows it. The following code loads SRFI-1 and SRFI-13 from R7RS code:

(import (srfi 1) (srfi 13))

(It’s not that Gauche treat srfi name specially; installation of Gauche includes adapter libraries such as srfi/1.scm.)

A tip: To use Gauche’s built-in features (the bindings that are available by default in Gauche code) from R7RS code, import (gauche base) library (see gauche.base - Importing gauche built-ins):

(import (gauche base))

filter ⇒ #<closure filter>

Running R7RS scripts

R7RS scripts always begin with import form. However, r7rs#import has a different syntax and semantics from gauche#import—so we employ a trick.

When gosh is started, it loads the given script file in user module. We have a separate user#import macro, which examines its arguments and if it is R7RS import syntax, switch to the r7rs.user module and run the r7rs#import. Otherwise, it runs gauche#import. See Three import forms, for the details.

An example of R7RS script:

(import (scheme base) (scheme write))
(display "Hello, world!\n")

If you’re already familiar with Gauche scripts, keep in mind that R7RS program doesn’t treat main procedure specially; it just evaluates toplevel forms from top to bottom. So the following script doesn’t output anything:

(import (scheme base) (scheme write))
(define (main args)
  (display "Hello, world!\n")

To access the command-line arguments in R7RS scripts, use command-line in (scheme process-context) library (see scheme.process-context - R7RS process context, also see Command-line arguments).


When gosh is invoked with -r7 option and no script file is given, it enters an R7RS REPL mode. For the convenience, the following modules (“libraries”, in R7RS term) are pre-loaded.

(scheme base) (scheme case-lambda) (scheme char)
(scheme complex) (scheme cxr) (scheme eval)
(scheme file) (scheme inexact) (scheme lazy)
(scheme load) (scheme process-context) (scheme read)
(scheme repl) (scheme time) (scheme write)

Besides, the history variables *1, *2, *3, *1+, *2+, *3+, *e and *history are available (See Working in REPL, for the details of history variables).

You can know you’re in R7RS REPL by looking at the prompt, where gosh shows the current module (r7rs.user):


To switch Gauche REPL from R7RS REPL, import (gauche base) and select user module using select-module:

gosh[r7rs.user]> (import (gauche base))
gosh[r7rs.user]> (select-module user)

(You can (select-module gauche) but that’s usually not what you want to do—changing gauche module can have unwanted side effects.)

When you’re working on R7RS code in file and load it into R7RS REPL (for example, if you’re using Emacs Scheme mode, C-c C-l does the job), make sure the file is in proper shape as R7RS; that is, the file must start with appropriate import declarations, or the file contains define-library form(s). If you load file without those forms, it is loaded into Gauche’s user module no matter what your REPL’s current module is, and the definitions won’t be visible from r7rs.user module by default.

Switching from Gauche REPL

By default, gosh enters Gauche REPL when no script file is given. See Working in REPL, for detailed explanation of using REPL.

To switch Gauche REPL to R7RS REPL, simply use r7rs-style import; user#import knows you want R7RS and make a switch.

gosh> (import (scheme base))

If you don’t start gosh with -r7 option, however, only the libraries you given to user#import are loaded at this moment.

If you want to switch the “vanilla” r7rs environment, that is, even not loading (scheme base), then you can use r7rs module and directly select r7rs.user:

gosh> (use r7rs)
gosh> (select-module r7rs.user)

If you do this, the only bindings visible initially are import and define-library; even define is undefined! You have to manually do (import (scheme base)) etc. to start writing Scheme in this environment.

10.1.2 Three import forms

For historical reasons, Gauche has three import forms; the original Gauche’s import, R7RS import, and the hybrid import.

Usually it is clear that the code is written in traditional Gauche or in R7RS, and usage of import is typically idiomatic, so there’s not much confusion in practice. Only when you talk about import outside of code, you might need to specify which one you’re talking.

The hybrid import is what we described user#import in the previous section (see Traveling between two worlds back and forth). It understands both of Gauche’s import and R7RS import. So what you really need to know is the first two.

Gauche’s module system design is inherited from STk, and we’ve been used import for purely name-space level operation; that is, it assumes the module you import from already exists in memory. Loading a file that defines the module (if necessary) is done by separate primitives, require. In most cases one file defines one module, and using that module means require it then import it (it’s so common that Gauche has a macro for it—use). However, separating those two sometimes comes handy when you need some nontrivial hacks. See Using modules, for the details of Gauche’s import.

R7RS leaves out the relation between modules (libraries) and files in order to give implementation freedom. If necessary, its import must load a file implicitly and transparently. So R7RS’s import is semantically Gauche’s use.

The hybrid import only appears at the beginning of the Scheme scripts. It finds out whether the script is in the traditional Gauche code or in the R7RS code. See Traveling between two worlds back and forth, for the details.

Now we’ll explain R7RS import:

Special Form: import import-spec …

[R7RS] Imports libraries specified by import-specs. What R7RS calls libraries are what Gauche calls modules; they’re the same thing.

R7RS libraries are named by a list of symbols or integers, e.g. (scheme base) or (srfi 1). It is translated to Gauche’s module name by joining the symbols by periods; so, R7RS (scheme base) is Gauche’s scheme.base. Conversely, Gauche’s data.queue is available as (data queue) in R7RS. To use those two libraries, R7RS program needs this form at the beginning.

(import (scheme base)
        (data queue))

It works just like Gauche’s use forms; that is, if the named module doesn’t exist in the current process, it loads the file; then the module’s exported bindings become visible from the current module.

(use scheme.base)
(use data.queue)

(You may wonder what if R7RS library uses symbols with periods in them. Frankly, we haven’t decided yet. It’ll likely be that we use some escaping mechanism; for the time being you’d want to stick with alphanumeric characters and hyphens as possible.)

Just like Gauche’s use, you can select which symbols to be imported (or not imported), rename specific symbols, or add prefix to all imported symbols. The formal syntax of R7RS import syntax is as follows:

<import declaration> : (import <import-set> <import-set> ...)

<import-set> : <library-name>
  | (only <import-set> <identifier> <identifier> ...)
  | (except <import-set> <identifier> <identifier> ...)
  | (prefix <import-set> <identifier>)
  | (rename <import-set>
            (<identifier> <identifier>)
            (<identifier> <identifier>) ...)

<library-name> : (<identifier-or-base-10-integer>
                  <identifier-or-base-10-integer> ...)

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