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Re: Language Implementation Languages

At 4:19 PM -0400 5/16/03, Peter J. Wasilko, Esq. wrote:
>Greetings All,
>     Is anyone using anything other than C and its heirs for their 
>low level language implemenation work?

Yes, though I'm not sure the word "assembler" is what you want to hear... :)

>     It seems all to easy to introduce bugs in one's implmentation 
>when using something as unsafe as C.
>     Are there better choices?

Oh, probably. DEC used BLISS for a fair number of things, and it was 
certainly less unsafe than C. (Though I'm not sure any language that 
works at this level can, or should, be truly safe) I know there are 
folks using Perl, Python, and (I think) Ruby for language 
implementation, though I only know of them being used for "toy" 
languages. (Befunge, Brain****, and Z-code spring to mind) A fair 
number of people seem to regard self-hosting as a requirement for a 
real language, but I'm not sure that counts.

The problem is that there are very few languages one can reliably 
find on multiple systems, and of those most aren't really suitable 
for language implementation, and of the remaining languages you've 
got talent pool size problems.

C's less the language of choice as the language of last resort.

--------------------------------------"it's like this"-------------------
Dan Sugalski                          even samurai
dan@sidhe.org                         have teddy bears and even
                                       teddy bears get drunk