Hμblog for tag ‘cs’

Chicken Scheme's internal data representation

Fascinating writeup on the internal representation of values in Chicken Scheme. The design of value representations in a Scheme implementation needs to balance performance and memory usage while supporting a finite number of value types, so seeing the strategies chosen by a real-world implementation is always interesting. The further reading section provides links to information on the internal representation used by several other languages.

Inform 7 is now open source (HN comment)

I have quite a bit of respect for the fact that this is a successful, real-world program developed using Literate Programming. It's a style of programming which has interested me before, but like many other people, I've found it hard to do in practice, and tools to be lacking.

As an aside, the interactive fiction community is from a technological perspective a fascinating microcosm, including from a CS perspective. You have not just one toolchain, but an entire ecosystem of competing virtual machine specifications (Z-Machine, Glulx, TADS, Hugo), compilers, and source languages, all intending to deliver architecture-independence and the ability to preserve IF for the ages, yet apart from all general-purpose technologies typically used for the task. (Read more...)