Flexible Scheme objects with message passing and prototypes
- Version: 0.5
- Date: November 18, 2012
- Author: John Croisant <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Project: http://github.com/jacius/protolk/
- License: BSD 2-Clause
Protolk is not a new language or dialect. It offers a Scheme record type, and collection of procedures that can be seamlessly integrated with other Scheme code. Some optional reader extensions are also available, to add some syntax sugar for convenience.
Protolk is designed with four core principles in mind:
- Simplicity: Protolk’s object model is very simple: an object holds its own properties and methods, it inherits properties and methods from an (optional) base object, and it performs actions in response to messages. That’s all there is to it. However…
- Extensibility: … it’s easy to build complex and interesting behavior on top of that simple object model. You can extend, customize, or replace pretty much anything about Protolk, including much of the inheritance system!
- Flexibility: Objects can be modified in any way at any time. You don’t have to declare ahead of time what properties or methods an object will have, or redefine an entire class just to add a property or method to a single object.
- Encapsulation: Objects maintain a separation between their private state and their public interfaces. Properties are only (directly) read or written by the object itself. Methods are public by nature, but there are ways to implement private methods.
Installation and Usage
You currently need Chicken Scheme to use Protolk. After you have
installed Chicken, you can install the latest release of Protolk by
chicken-install protolk. Or, if you want the absolute latest
revision of Protolk, you can clone the git repository then run the
chicken-install command from within the repository clone directory.
To use Protolk in your code:
(require-extension protolk protolk-stdpob protolk-syntax-send-brackets protolk-syntax-own-prop-at)
When you compile the file, if you are using Protolk’s syntax sugar, you will need to tell the compiler to load the syntax modules as compiler extensions:
csc -X protolk-syntax-send-brackets -X protolk-syntax-own-prop-at your-code.scm
If you don’t want to use syntax sugar, you don’t need those flags, and
you can omit the syntax modules from the
expression shown above.
For working code samples, see the files in the
As of November 2012, Protolk is still just an experiment. I make no guarantees about its performance, efficiency, stability, security, correctness, usefulness, or cleverness. Think twice (or thrice) before using Protolk in production code.
Be aware that Protolk is based on synchronous (blocking) message passing, implemented as procedure calls. No special consideration has been given to issues of concurrency, threading, or asynchronicity. So, Protolk probably does not offer any special benefit for distributed or parallel computing. (But, Protolk is flexible enough that you can easily create Protolk objects that implement message queues or other form of asynchronous message passing.)
Protolk is made available under the following terms (the BSD 2-Clause License):
Protolk: flexible Scheme objects with message passing and prototypes
Copyright © 2012 John Croisant. All rights reserved.
Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:
- Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
- Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
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