Re: [uCsimm] Perl for uClinux?

From: Geoffrey Wossum (gpw0341@omega.uta.edu)
Date: Thu Apr 06 2000 - 15:56:45 EDT


All,

Just to avoid flames, I love Perl. It's a great programming language for
quick hacks, and even some large scale programs. I always ask myself,
"Can I do this in Perl?" before I go to C or C++ or Java or LISP or TCL.

However, Perl is definitely not a good fit for embedded work, especially
not the uCsimm or any system running uClinux for that matter. Maybe for a
Pentium SBC it is, but not for us.

1) Perl is too high level for most embedded work. Sure, you can make a C
module and call that, but that's a more work than I feel like doing.

2) Good luck getting it to fit in 32k text and 32k bss sections!!! (Perl
has huge amounts of global data structures in addition to a lot of code).

3) Even if it was possible to strip down the interpreter to fit in 32k, I
still say good luck. I've actually been looking at the Perl interpreter
code (we're trying to apply an external threading mechanism to it here
at UT-Arlington), and it's not pretty! Not to deride Larry Wall or any of
the Perl developers. Perl is a great language with an utterly mystifying
implementation.

My recomendation for a scripting language for uClinux stuff would be Forth
or BASIC.

I think you might be able to get a stripped down LISP or Scheme
interpreter to run on uClinux platforms. That would be nice, too.

---
Geoffrey Wossum
gwossum@acm.org
Project AKO - http://rover1.uta.edu/~ako
Internet Imperialists - http://inetimperial.sourceforge.net
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