New kid on the block / introduction

M. Edward (Ed) Borasky znmeb at
Thu Nov 2 07:56:58 PST 2006

Tom Novelli wrote:
> Welcome aboard, Ed.  Sounds like you got into this the same way I did,
> through Fare's Assembly-Howto.  You probably found RetroForth too...
> the newer versions might be useful as an example for interfacing with
> Linux.

Yep -- RetroForth, RevaForth and FreeForth/FASM. Right now I'm leaning
towards the FreeForth/FASM, since ANS Forth compatibility isn't critical.

> It's good to have a Ruby hacker here, as none of us seem to be, and
> it's an unusual language.  I've only played with it a little, but it
> looks like LISP without parenthesis...  Eventually we might like to
> incorporate Ruby into our great multi-language compiler system,
> when/if we write it, but don't hold your breath -- it could be
> decades.  I would encourage you to go ahead with your project... If
> you succeed, it'll make Ruby a more viable language.  Elegant,
> high-level, high-performance implementations (for any language) are
> hard to find.

Ruby is mostly a hybrid of Smalltalk and Perl. It has lambdas, blocks,
closures and continuations, but not tail recursion, and there's quite a
bit of debate in the core Ruby developer community about the future of
continuations. Its connections with Lisp and Scheme are mostly through
Smalltalk and not directly from the Lisp family. See

There was a project to build a Ruby VM using gForth/vmgen but its
developer has abandoned the effort. At the moment I don't have any
64-bit hardware to test on; that will probably be March. So I'm going to
build a 32-bit system optimized for Linux and Windows 32-bit Vista on
the machines I have -- a Pentium 3 and an Athlon XP. I don't see any
reason in the world *not* to use an assembly language core, but I
haven't decided which assembler to use.

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