Small languages (was Re: Lua, Lunatic and Python

Paul Rubin http
Tue Dec 16 22:26:16 CET 2003

Charles Steinkuehler <charles at> writes:
> I could be wrong, but it looks to me like SIOD requires a C runtime
> library to function. 

Well, not much of one.

> One of the big attractions of using Forth (at least to me) is it's
> lack of reliance on a runtime library.

Then it has to directly implement the stuff that other systems leave
to the libc.

> Direct interfacing to the linux kernel should be possible in an
> architecture-neutral manner, and the ~10K overhead of a Forth kernel
> is very minimal when compared to the ~75K overhead of SIOD (from the
> website) 

I don't think that 75k is program footprint.  The program is much
smaller than that.  However, it uses a copying GC which burns a fair
amount of ram.  That could be replaced with a mark/sweep GC if you
want to use less memory.

> the hundreds of KBytes (if not MegaBytes) of overhead for the
> runtime C library.

There's no need to use such a fancy libc in an embedded system,
especially for something like SIOD which needs just a limited subset.
The basic C library API is not much different today than it was in
the days of V6 Unix on the PDP-11 or BDS C on the Z80.  

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