, 2010-06-14 (WORK IN PROGRESS)

Make Your Own Programming Language
Appendix A

After completing my interpreter construction tutorial, I could not help but wonder how my little toy would fare in the real world. That, and I came up with a more general way to implement words and control structures. MuScript is the result.


Some code examples:

        "Hello, world" print cr (self-explanatory)
        (count from 1 to 10)
        0 begin
                incr dup print cr
        end 10 times

        (the same with an explicit test)
        1 begin
                dup 10 > then break
                dup . cr incr
        end repeat drop
        (Simple conditional statements)
        true false both? then
        begin 'Is too!' . cr end iftrue
        begin 'Is not!' . cr end iffalse
        3 4 dup * swap dup * + sqrt . cr (calculate a hypotenuse)
        3 4 begin dup * swap dup * + sqrt end run . cr
                (the same, with a block of code)

        3 4 begin dup * swap dup * + sqrt end word eval . cr
                (the same, with an anonymous word)
        : hypot dup * swap dup * + sqrt ;
        3 4 hypot . cr (the same, with a colon definition)
        x: 3 !
        x: @ . cr (variables)
        hello: begin "Hello, world!" print cr end word !
        hello: @ eval (runtime word definition and storing/calling)
        (Defining a select-case control structure.
         Note how 'case' works; it is effectively a macro.)
        : select run ;
        : case
          swap: @
          then: @
          iftrue: @
          break: @
        ; immediate
          false begin 'Case 1' . cr end case
          true begin 'Case 2' . cr end case
          1 2 < begin "Shouldn't happen" . cr end case
        end select

I accepted a few limitations in order to maintain simplicity. For example, immediate only works after a word definition, not inside it. And you can't have words starting with a number (hence incr instead of 1+), because of parseFloat's overly generous behavior. Oh, and because a new word doesn't exist until after the semicolon, recursive calls must use the @ eval idiom.

Also, for now the interpreter works by precompiling the whole script before running. A truly interactive mode is being planned.

Creative Commons License
Make Your Own Programming Language by Felix Pleşoianu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.