Small languages (was Re: Lua, Lunatic and Python

Gustavo Niemeyer niemeyer at
Tue Dec 16 17:52:03 CET 2003

Hi Charles!

> I could be wrong, but it looks to me like SIOD requires a C runtime
> library to function.  One of the big attractions of using Forth (at
> least to me) is it's lack of reliance on a runtime library.  Direct

Oh, a Forth fan. Cool. :-)

I confess I'm not confortable with the forth syntax (at least not yet),
but even then, I've looked into Forth as well (namingly, FICL). OTOH,
unlike you claim below, the FICL static library is larger than Lua's
one, and it does link with the libc runtime.

Perhaps I'm looking at the wrong direction. Can you please point me
to the Forth implementation you're talking about? I'd like to have
a look, just out of curiosity.

> interfacing to the linux kernel should be possible in an
> architecture-neutral manner,

That's something I don't take as an advantage, for my usage cases. I'd
rather keep away from kernel interfacing tasks (has anyone tried to
compile something with videodev with 2.6 yet? :-). I'd rather stick with
some minimal libc version, if needed.

> and the ~10K overhead of a Forth kernel is very minimal when compared
> to the ~75K overhead of SIOD (from the

As I said, the forth implementation I've looked at, which looks like
a rather common one, gave me different results. I haven't looked at
SIOD, but will do.

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

The same as two paragraphs above.

Also, I should say that I have obvioulsy found some *very* minimal
languages while I was doing the research, but these were either badly
implemented or just didn't offer the basic stuff I was looking for
(easy and elegant C extending, etc).

Gustavo Niemeyer

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