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[REBOL] Re: Is Rebol code smaller?/Compiler!

From: tim:johnsons-web at: 19-Nov-2002 8:50

<Tim> > There should be a rebol compiler or a system to translate rebol
> > > > code into an Ansi C "dialect", which could then be compiled.
<Ammon > This has come up several times and the reason there is no compiler is
> > > because of the dynamic nature of the language. RT is working on a > compile function, but it will only really work with heavy number crunching. > > > Anything else done in the language is too dynamic to be compiled. ;-)
<Tim> Is rebol more dynamic than 'scheme' or 'lisp'?
> > (bigloo has a syntax for compile-time typing of 'words) > Tim, I would be glad to answer your question, but I have not used any of > the languages that you mentioned (besides, of course, REBOL) so I am > entirely unqualified to answer. Sorry!
Hi Ammon: (Rhetorical question, rhetorical answer) Disclaimer: I'm a bread-butter-programmer that just happens to use rebol and consider myself a mechanic among engineers and theoreticians when it comes to this list but to the best of my understanding I'll try the following: REBOL is dynamic because it is interpreted. And according to [Carl--rebol], rebol is influenced by LISP, and I can sure see that. Dynamic typing (a word is typed when it is assigned a value) is a feature of interpreted languages. It is arguable that Perl gains performance over rebol because the perl language syntax requires a certain amount of typing - defining a variable as *scalar* as opposed to *vector*. Some dynamic scripting languages like python are very up-front about the possibility that their scripted(interpreted) code might be slower than that of compiled application and suggest that prototyping might be the answer. On a more practical note, my company has been approached in the past regarding converting rebol code to "C" (which can then be compiled into free-standing executables that would (hopefully) offer superior performance). The argument as to whether rebol is *more* dynamic that LISP or scheme is probably moot. The convenience (and potentially smaller code set) of interpreted languages is certainly appealing to me. However when I and my fellow greying programmer colleagues drink too much latte and get into wild orgies of speculation, we come down to the agreement that the ideal programming language could be functional as interpreted *or* compiled. (bigloo is an example of such a language I think) I believe that there was a rebol compiler written at one time, or is that an "urban legend"? -- Tim Johnson <[tim--johnsons-web--com]>