In 1998, Sussman and Steele remarked that the minimalism of Scheme was not a conscious design goal, but rather the unintended outcome of the design process. "We were actually trying to build something complicated and discovered, serendipitously, that we had accidentally designed something that met all our goals but was much simpler than we had intended....we realized that the lambda calculus—a small, simple formalism—could serve as the core of a powerful and expressive programming language."[8]

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The R5RS standard specifies procedures exact->inexact and inexact->exact which can be used to change the exactness of a number. inexact->exact produces "the exact number that is numerically closest to the argument". exact->inexact produces "the inexact number that is numerically closest to the argument". The R6RS standard omits these procedures from the main report, but specifies them as R5RS compatibility procedures in the standard library (rnrs r5rs (6)). 

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A feature of R6RS is the record-type descriptor (RTD). When an RTD is created and used, the record type representation can show the memory layout. It also calculated object field bit mask and mutable Scheme object field bit masks, and helped the garbage collector know what to do with the fields without traversing the whole fields list that are saved in the RTD. RTD allows users to expand the basic RTD to create a new record system.[11]

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The R5RS standard specifies procedures exact->inexact and inexact->exact which can be used to change the exactness of a number. inexact->exact produces "the exact number that is numerically closest to the argument". exact->inexact produces "the inexact number that is numerically closest to the argument". The R6RS standard omits these procedures from the main report, but specifies them as R5RS compatibility procedures in the standard library (rnrs r5rs (6)).

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In calling the procedure "+" to add 1 and 2, the expressions (ev +), (ev 1) and (ev 2) may be evaluated in any order, as long as the effect is not as if they were evaluated in parallel. Thus the following three lines may be displayed in any order by standard Scheme when the above example code is executed, although the text of one line may not be interleaved with another because that would violate the sequential evaluation constraint.

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Scheme's input and output is based on the port datatype. (R5RS sec 6.6)[4] R5RS defines two default ports, accessible with the procedures current-input-port and current-output-port, which correspond to the Unix notions of standard input and standard output. Most implementations also provide current-error-port. Redirection of input and standard output is supported in the standard, by standard procedures such as with-input-from-file and with-output-to-file. Most implementations provide string ports with similar redirection capabilities, enabling many normal input-output operations to be performed on string buffers instead of files, using procedures described in SRFI 6.[30] The R6RS standard specifies much more sophisticated and capable port procedures and many new types of port.

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