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Mon Nov 7 16:44:03 EST 2011

state machines

I'm thinking about what to do next with the synth.  The main problem
is that I don't have a good way to deal with state machines and
building dataflow networks, or at least event sending..

State machines can be well represented using python-style coroutines,
which are essentially threads with only one cell, meaning that yield
can only be called at the entry level.

It would be nice to have some global compiler support for doing jump
table allocation for this mechanism, since RAM is so expensive and
most state machines can do well with 256 states.

The problem then is how to find "islands of control" that can use
disjunct control points?  It might be best to do this with an extra
context, as we also need to enforce that yield is not used is library
routines.

Some notes

- Islands of control: collect words that are separated by tail calls
  only.  Doing this automatically is possible, but would require it to
  be done on a low level.

- Explicit declaration might be better, something like:

    begin-sm <entry> ... end-sm

  This way the context for this can be stored in a threaded compiler
  state, and we can enforce that all calls inside such a section are
  actually tail calls.

- Python-style generators/coroutines do not allow calling `yield' from
  nested context, which is exactly the point here since we want to
  save memory and resource allocation hassle.  However, in Staapl
  nesting that doesn't use any data state can still be done using
  macros, which would expand into multiple control points.

- It needs an extra compiler state.  It might be better to first make
  compiler states composable, or provide a way to attach some state
  for later extension.



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