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Wed Aug 13 09:29:23 CEST 2008

Coma code + instantiation

Maybe it's time to start moving things from Forth syntax to Coma/sexp
syntax.  What's currently missing is an instantiation syntax for Coma
words.  Something like:

;; Define code generators
(compositions (macro) macro:
  (a  1 2 3)
  (b  a c)
  (c  a b))

;; Declare which of them employ run-time instantiation.
(instantiatie (macro) c b)

Problems:

  * Recursive macros.  During instantiation some recursive expansions
    might lead to infinite code size.  This needs a detection
    mechanism and possibly automatic instantiation.

  * Fallthrough and multiple exit points.  This needs special
    syntactic support.  Moreover, the ';' used in Forth is awkward to
    use in Scheme syntax.

  * Somehow it feels wrong to use Forth's structured programming words
    in the s-expression definitions.  Code blocks in the form of
    higher order macros seem to make more sense there..  Is this just
    aestetics?

The fallthrough/local-exit problem could be avoided by not allowing
them in a simple version of 'instantiate'.  The cost of these features
needs to be analyzed more: they are not for free and significantly
complicate the code graph instantiator.



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