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.ooooo. d88' `8. Y88.. .8' `88888b. .8' ``88b `8. .88P `boood8' Document last modified: 2/2/2010 Eight 2010, a lisp by Sam Bleckley Contact me! Sam Bleckley http://diiq.org/ firstname.lastname@example.org 405-AVENGING (405.283.6446) Gnawing on bones My tongue is sore from trying to get the marrow out I refuse to ignore the meat any longer I intend to sculpt Eight into a beautiful and emotional and extraordinarily powerful programming language. I am not concerned with speed of execution or ease of learning. Programmers want to be magic ninjas. Eight lets programmers do magic ninja things. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A Quick-Start Guide I am still actively altering and developing Eight. If you seek a finished, capable language, you will not find one here. However, if you're looking to help build a language to be beautiful inside and out, Eight may be for you. Follow along with these examples at http://diiq.org/eight, or by cloning the repository and using the python implementation: $ python/8 test.8 I built Eight for metaprogramming. In my opinion, no other language equals Eight in the power and simplicity of its fexprs. To understand why, take a look at a function definition in Eight: (def with ('sym val ... 'body) ((fn ,(list sym) *body) val)) (I'll assume you've got a working knowledge of lisp --- it doesn't matter which one. Arc, scheme, common --- it's all the same to me.) Questions to ask about this function: What does this function do? Much like with in Arc or let in common lisp, this function temporarily binds a value to a variable; it might be used like this: (with a (+ 2 3) (print a) (* a 2)) Which would print "5" and return 10. Afterwards, a will be unbound (or return to the binding it had previously in this scope). How does def work? def takes three arguments: a symbol: with; a lambda list: ('sym val ... 'body); and a body of expressions: ((fn ,(list sym) *body) val). What does the ... mean? The elipsis works just like &rest in common list, or a . in Arc or scheme: body will be bound to a list of all remaining arguments. Why are arguments in the lambda list quoted? In Eight, argument names in the lambda list can have a function applied to them; this is clearer if I desugar the lambda list: ((' sym) val ... (' body)) ' is a function. Before the arguments are evaluated, that function is applied; ' prevents the evaluation of those arguments. It also does more, but that's much is important to understand first: the argument bound to sym will not be evaluated; the argument(s) to body will not be evaluated. They will be passed to ', and the result will be bound. ,? *? What do they do? , prevents an argument from being wrapped in a function, when the lambda-list calls for it. fn quotes its first argument, but with has *already* quoted that argument. Usually, , acts as a sort of opposite to '. * unpacks a list into arguments: (list *(a b c)) is the same as: (list a b c) THe behavior of *, @, and , are still in flux. I am unhappy with the false symmetry of , and ', and * currently hides an extra eval which could be dangerous. For a more in-depth look at what Eight is, take a look at python/eight.py . It is a well-documented and reasonably organized implementation.