These tests show the type of syntax definitions the Schemes in the suite understand. The following Schemes do not support syntax extension of any (known) kind, and are excluded below: NexJ, JScheme, KSi, Shoe, TinyScheme, BDC, XLisp, Schemik, UMB, Llava, FemtoLisp, Oaklisp, Inlab


Define-macro is a low-level bare macro definition, analogous to Common Lisp defmacro. I tested (define-macro x (lambda (y) y)) followed by (x (+ 3 4)), expecting it to return 7 on Schemes that support define-macro and an error otherwise. Define-macro is not part of any Scheme standard.

Supported: Gambit, Bigloo, Guile, Kawa, SISC, Ypsilon, SigScheme, S7[*], Scheme 9, STklos, RScheme, Rep, Elk, Dfsch[*], Picrin

Not supported: Racket, Gauche, MIT, Chicken, Scheme48/scsh, SCM, Chez, Vicare, Larceny, Mosh, IronScheme, SXM, Sagittarius, Foment, Owl Lisp, Chibi, Sizzle[*]

[*] S7 and Dfsch accept the define-style syntax (define-macro (x y) y) only. The Sizzle documentation claims to do the same, but it didn't work for me.


Define-syntax is a wrapper for any of the following syntax transformations. Other such wrappers are let-syntax, let*-syntax, and letrec-syntax, which define local macros. The following additional Schemes do not support define-syntax and are excluded below: SigScheme, S7, Rep, Elk, Sizzle, Dfsch. RScheme accepts only a non-standard form of define-syntax and is also excluded below.


Syntax-rules is a syntax transformer used with define-syntax and its relatives. It was described but not standardized in R4RS; with minor extensions, it is part of the R5RS, R6RS, and R7RS-small standards. I tested (define-syntax x (syntax-rules () ((x y) y))), which is essentially equivalent to the define-macro macro used above, but with hygiene.

Supported: Racket, Gauche, MIT, Gambit (with the -:s switch), Chicken, Bigloo, Scheme48/scsh, Guile, Kawa, SISC, SCM (with the -r5 -m switches), Chez, Vicare, Larceny, Ypsilon, Mosh, IronScheme, STklos, Scheme 9, SXM, Sagittarius, Foment, Picrin, Owl Lisp, Chibi

Not supported: (none)


Syntax-case is a hybrid low/high-level macro system that is standardized in R6RS. The test used here is (define-syntax x (lambda (x) (syntax-case x () ((x y) (syntax y))))), which is exactly equivalent to the syntax-rules macro used above.

Supported: Racket, Gambit, Guile, Kawa, SISC, Chez, Vicare, Larceny, Ypsilon, Mosh, IronScheme, SXM, Sagittarius

Not supported: Gauche, MIT, Chicken, Bigloo, Scheme48/scsh, SCM, STklos, Scheme 9, Foment, Picrin, Owl Lisp, Chibi

Syntactic closures

Syntactic closures is a low-level macro system supported by MIT, Picrin, Chibi.

Explicit renaming

Explicit renaming is a low-level macro system supported by MIT, Chicken, Sagittarius, Picrin, Chibi, Larceny (with different syntax).

Implicit renaming

Implicit renaming is a low-level macro system supported by Chicken, Picrin.

Last modified 12 months ago Last modified on 05/20/16 18:04:31