"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Lisp on the DS

A really interesting thread on the Gambit Scheme mailing list. Andrew Lentvorski is porting Gambit to the Nintendo DS handheld. He has a way to go, working on interrupts and threading. But the signs of life so far are really surprising to me at least.

Gambit ports fairly easily to Unix-like systems. The Nintendo DS does not strike me as a Unix-like system. Actually it turns out Marc Feeley has abstracted more than Unix out of the runtime system. He's had bare metal somewhat in mind but not much actual porting before this.

Something like Squeak Smalltalk ports to bare metal fairly deliberately. The core of Squeak is written in a subset of Squeak and implements a VM. Gambit on the other hand is a fairly aggressive optimizing compiler (and interpreter) written in C and Gambit Scheme and generates C.

The excercise is sure to enable other bare metal or nearly so ports of Gambit down the road. Which paves the way for anything riding on top of Scheme as well. As Andrew points out that includes Termite, but could go far beyond that over time.

Andrew has designs on using the Nintendo DS wifi capability. Gambit serializes continuations for the network. The possibilities multiply.


Steven Kryskalla said...

Don't forget that you can run Python on the DS too.

Patrick Logan said...

Python on the DS is cool. The even more cool thing about Gambit is that it can generate really good code and C-like when you want that.

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About Me

Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.