All posts tagged prototype

Just over two weeks ago I released :Firth pre-alpha1 into the wild. It had progressed to the point where it was starting to be able to do what I’d intended it for–implement small DSLs with relatively little code. It was fairly small, simple, and fast, in the grand scheme of things. Writing code in :Firth was a joy, the syntax was clean and easy to understand, and I was generally happy with what I’d built. So I cut a release, made a little announcement, and waited to see what people thought.

Their feedback? The response was overwhelmingly positive. I did get some technical notes and observations, though: it’s too big, too complicated, and it’s totally incomprehensible.

Ouch. Confusion about how it works and how to read the code is mostly a a cultural issue. To Forth veterans, the REPL with the “ok” prompt should be perfectly mundane and familiar. The idiosyncratic : colon definition syntax ; and reverse-polish notation take some getting used to, but they aren’t especially difficult except insofar as they’re so different from pretty much all mainstream languages.

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