[uCsimm] ucLinux-appropriate languages

From: John Mitchell (johnm@magnet.com)
Date: Thu Apr 06 2000 - 17:53:25 EDT

On Thu, 6 Apr 2000, Larry Doolittle wrote:

> Forth would be a useful addition to uCLinux (if it's not there
> already). Java is probably to heavy, but it at least attempts
> to address the issue. Hell, I'd take BASIC over bash for anything
> that could be considered a program (not a script). At least it
> can add, subtract, multiply, and divide.

Forth is/can be extremely small, fast, powerful, and interactive. Alas,
after way too much effort I've never been able to deal with it. One good
place to look is Quartus Forth for the (DragonBall) Palm Pilot:

Sun does (used to?) use Forth for the BIOS! Great for booting up a
diskless workstation and (interatively) getting information about the
network, etc. Fun!

Java doesnt have to be heavy. The Sun JVM plus a few (not all!) libraries
for the Palm runs ~140K overhead. A (stripped down) JVM, WabaVM, for the
same machine consumes ~32K. Check http://www.wabasoft.com

BASIC is great, but there are too many incompatible versions. (The best
I've seen is the one I'm using: Functional Basic, from Protean Logic
http://www.protean-logic.com/ (TICkit = PIC module, great libraries.))

> I don't know about Python, it hasn't made it to the top of my
> to-do list. Would it fit in 32K?

Python is easy to extend, embed in another app. Some commercial software
is 90% in Python, with the other 10% moved into C for 10-20x speedup where
it counts.

32K? Interpreter loop maybe, but the libraries? Dunno.

> How about the core of tcl?
> "It's not a language, it's a tokenizer!" -- Ken Arnold

No comment.

I love Python to death, but for an embedded machine I'd probably choose
Java/Waba for "portability", otherwise BASIC.

- j

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