A lisp interpreter
C Objective-C
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readme.org

iota

Iota is a lisp interpreter. It is very much a work in progress.

build:

make

run:

./iota

What it has

  • Interpretation.
  • Lisp-1 namespacing.
  • Lexical binding.
  • Common Lisp-style macros.
  • Self-evaluating keywords.
  • Some arg parsing.
  • Some introspection.
  • Decent I/O.

What it doesn’t have

  • Booleans (nil serves as false)
  • Garbage collection.

What I want it to have

  • Self-hosted compilation, maybe to some kind of iota bytecode, maybe to javascript, maybe to C, maybe to all three.
  • Much more introspection.
  • Better arg parsing.
  • More (fast) fundamental data structures, like maps/hashtables/dictionaries and resizable vectors.
  • Garbage collection.

Acknowledgements

Big chunks of iota were built based on Peter Michaux’s Scheme from Scratch series, which walks through a C implementation of the metacircular scheme intepreter in SICP. Other stuff was built by reading SICP directly. I am also working through Lisp in Small Pieces, so that will probably show up. Still other stuff I just hacked out. Some of it is broken, see below.

Inspiration

Broken / TODO

  • Quasiquote (backquote) doesn’t nest right backquote should work now
  • Variable capture seems to be happening a lot, maybe because quasiquote is broken, or maybe just inherent to common lisp macros in a lisp-1.