Re: GNU Extension Language Plans

Wayne A. Christopher (
20 Oct 1994 21:54:20 GMT

I have a few concerns about the way GNUScript is supposed to operate.

1. It appears that there are to be two modules -- a compiler for a given
extension language, and a Scheme-based runtime interpreter. It sounds
like the compiler will be GPL'ed and the runtime won't be. But what if
I want to call "eval some-extension-language-command" from a running program?
Will it get compiled into Scheme on the fly (and then into C and dynamically
loaded, even)? I think this will be a big performance hit, and furthermore
it will require every application to include the GPL'ed compiler, which
defeats the purpose of unencumbering the runtime.

2. Will the Scheme runtime need something like Boehm's garbage collector?
I'm sure there are applications that can't use this sort of system -- for
example, ones that maintain pointers to objects in core in external
storage but not internally (for whatever reason).

3. Tcl is very popular in embedded applications where code size is critical.
It seems that the Scheme interpreter plus the garbage collector plus the
compiler would be a lot larger.

It's definitely a cute idea, but I'm not sure it's very practical...