Lambda (was: Refactoring in Tunes)

Massimo Dentico
Thu, 13 Jan 2000 17:06:11 +0100

Laurent Martelli wrote:
> >>>>> "Massimo" == Massimo Dentico <> writes:
>   Massimo> Surely OIL is not so big compared to other interpreters but
>   Massimo> you need a C++ compiler to bootstrap it and an host OS to
>   Massimo> run it (as the vast majority of the existing interpreters
>   Massimo> and compilers).
> The need of C++ compiler is just an implementation issue. i could very
> have written in assemblor, and it would be as portable. At that point,
> it would be fairly easy to compile OIL into a "kernel" that can
> bootstrap on bare hardware. But I don't see any need for this. At
> least now. I just felt that to start with, C++ was a good compromise
> between portability and efficiency.
> --
> Laurent Martelli

This type  of portability is a *myth*.  As soon as  you use  a non
standard library you immediatly obtain a non portable program. The
effort of porting your application  from an environment to another
is as big as more you use non standard libraries.

To obtain true portability  you need  a good virtual machine  or a
complete metaprogramming environment. Forth has a tiny, quite fast
virtual machine that you can easily port  *manually*  without much
effort  just in virtue  of his size  OR  you can metacompile it to
another target machine (evidence of these facts: the proliferation
of Forth implementations).   So you can obtain a better compromise
between portability and efficiency.

An essay on "Forth Meta Compilation":

Of course,  to run OIL on the bare hardware  you need to port your
interpreter (your virtual machine) to other machines  OR  to write
a compiler for OIL. It's not sufficient to rewrite OIL in OIL.

Take it as a friendly warning, *not* as a provocation.

Best regards,

Massimo Dentico