Note: some of the earlier tests have several failing test cases. This is because I completely changed the data type representations somewhere around step 4 or 5.
mal - Make a Lisp
Mal is a Clojure inspired Lisp interpreter.
Mal is implemented in 30 different languages:
- Bash shell
- GNU Make
- mal itself
- Visual Basic.NET
Mal is a learning tool. See the make-a-lisp process guide. Each implementation of mal is separated into 11 incremental, self-contained (and testable) steps that demonstrate core concepts of Lisp. The last step is capable of self-hosting (running the mal implementation of mal).
The mal (make a lisp) steps are:
Mal was presented publicly for the first time in a lightning talk at Clojure West 2014 (unfortunately there is no video). See mal/clojurewest2014.mal for the presentation that was given at the conference (yes the presentation is a mal program).
If you are interesting in creating a mal implementation (or just interested in using mal for something), please drop by the #mal channel on freenode. In addition to the make-a-lisp process guide there is also a mal/make-a-lisp FAQ where I attempt to answer some common questions.
cd bash bash stepX_YYY.sh
The C implementation of mal requires the following libraries (lib and header packages): glib, libffi6 and either the libedit or GNU readline library.
cd c make ./stepX_YYY
The C++ implementation was created by Stephen Thirlwall (sdt)
The C++ implementation of mal requires g++-4.9 or clang++-3.5 and
a readline compatible library to build. See the
cd cpp make # OR make CXX=clang++-3.5 ./stepX_YYY
The C# implementation of mal has been tested on Linux using the Mono C# compiler (mcs) and the Mono runtime (version 22.214.171.124). Both are required to build and run the C# implementation.
cd cs make mono ./stepX_YYY.exe
cd clojure lein with-profile +stepX trampoline run
sudo npm install -g coffee-script cd coffee coffee ./stepX_YYY
The Forth implementation was created by Chris Houser (chouser)
cd forth gforth stepX_YYY.fs
You Go implementation of mal requires that go is installed on on the path. The implementation has been tested with Go 1.3.1.
cd go make ./stepX_YYY
Install the Haskell compiler (ghc/ghci), the Haskell platform and either the editline package (BSD) or the readline package (GPL). On Ubuntu these packages are: ghc, haskell-platform, libghc-readline-dev/libghc-editline-dev
cd haskell make ./stepX_YYY
The Java implementation of mal requires maven2 to build.
cd java mvn compile mvn -quiet exec:java -Dexec.mainClass=mal.stepX_YYY # OR mvn -quiet exec:java -Dexec.mainClass=mal.stepX_YYY -Dexec.args="CMDLINE_ARGS"
cd js npm update node stepX_YYY.js
The Julia implementation of mal has been tested with Julia 0.3.7.
cd julia julia stepX_YYY.jl
Running the Lua implementation of mal requires lua 5.1 or later, luarocks and the lua-rex-pcre library installed.
cd lua make # to build and link linenoise.so ./stepX_YYY.lua
Running the mal implementation of mal involves running stepA of one of the other implementations and passing the mal step to run as a command line argument.
cd IMPL IMPL_STEPA_CMD ../mal/stepX_YYY.mal
GNU Make 3.81
cd make make -f stepX_YYY.mk
The Nim implementation was created by Dennis Felsing (def-)
Running the Nim implementation of mal requires Nim's current devel branch (0.10.3) or later, and the nre library installed.
cd nim make # OR nimble build ./stepX_YYY
The OCaml implementation was created by Chris Houser (chouser)
cd ocaml make ./stepX_YYY
The MATLAB implementation of mal has been tested with MATLAB version R2014a on Linux. Note that MATLAB is a commercial product. It should be fairly simple to support GNU Octave once it support classdef object syntax.
cd matlab ./stepX_YYY matlab -nodisplay -nosplash -nodesktop -nojvm -r "stepX_YYY();quit;" # OR with command line arguments matlab -nodisplay -nosplash -nodesktop -nojvm -r "stepX_YYY('arg1','arg2');quit;"
cd miniMAL # Download miniMAL and dependencies npm install export PATH=`pwd`/node_modules/minimal-lisp/:$PATH # Now run mal implementation in miniMAL miniMAL ./stepX_YYY
For readline line editing support, install Term::ReadLine::Perl or Term::ReadLine::Gnu from CPAN.
cd perl perl stepX_YYY.pl
The PHP implementation of mal requires the php command line interface to run.
cd php php stepX_YYY.php
Postscript Level 2/3
The Postscript implementation of mal requires ghostscript to run. It has been tested with ghostscript 9.10.
cd ps gs -q -dNODISPLAY -I./ stepX_YYY.ps
Python (2 or 3)
cd python python stepX_YYY.py
The R implementation of mal requires R (r-base-core) to run.
cd r make libs # to download and build rdyncall Rscript stepX_YYY.r
The Racket implementation of mal requires the Racket compiler/interpreter to run.
cd racket ./stepX_YYY.rkt
cd ruby ruby stepX_YYY.rb
Rust (1.0.0 nightly)
The rust implementation of mal requires the rust compiler and build tool (cargo) to build.
cd rust cargo run --release --bin stepX_YYY
Install scala and sbt (http://www.scala-sbt.org/0.13/tutorial/Installing-sbt-on-Linux.html):
cd scala sbt 'run-main stepX_YYY' # OR sbt compile scala -classpath target/scala*/classes stepX_YYY
The Swift implementation was created by Keith Rollin
The Swift implemenation of mal requires the Swift compiler (XCode) to build.
cd swift make ./stepX_YYY
The VB.NET implementation of mal has been tested on Linux using the Mono VB compiler (vbnc) and the Mono runtime (version 126.96.36.199). Both are required to build and run the VB.NET implementation.
cd vb make mono ./stepX_YYY.exe
The are nearly 500 generic functional tests (for all implementations)
tests/ directory. Each step has a corresponding test file
containing tests specific to that step. The
runtest.py test harness
launches a Mal step implementation and then feeds the tests one at
a time to the implementation and compares the output/return value to
the expected output/return value.
To simplify the process of running tests, a top level Makefile is provided with convenient test targets.
- To run all the tests across all implementations (be prepared to wait):
- To run all tests against a single implementation:
make test^IMPL # e.g. make test^clojure make test^js
- To run tests for a single step against all implementations:
make test^stepX # e.g. make test^step2 make test^step7
- To run tests for a specifc step against a single implementation:
make test^IMPL^stepX # e.g make test^ruby^step3 make test^ps^step4
Self-hosted functional tests
- To run the functional tests in self-hosted mode, you specify
malas the test implementation and use the
make MAL_IMPL=IMPL test^mal^step2 # e.g. make test^mal^step2 # js is default make MAL_IMPL=ruby test^mal^step2 make MAL_IMPL=python test^mal^step2
Warning: These performance tests are neither statistically valid nor comprehensive; runtime performance is a not a primary goal of mal. If you draw any serious conclusions from these performance tests, then please contact me about some amazing oceanfront property in Kansas that I'm willing to sell you for cheap.
- To run performance tests against a single implementation:
make perf^IMPL # e.g. make perf^js
- To run performance tests against all implementations:
Generating language statistics
- To report line and byte stastics for a single implementation:
make stats^IMPL # e.g. make stats^js
- To report line and bytes stastics for general Lisp code (env, core and stepA):
make stats-lisp^IMPL # e.g. make stats-lisp^js
Docker test environment
There is a Dockerfile included in the
tests/docker directory that
builds a docker image based on Ubuntu Utopic that contains everything
needed to run tests against all the implementations (except for MATLAB
which is proprietary/licensed).
Build the the docker image using a provided script. WARNING: this will likely take over an hour to build from scratch and use more 3 GB of disk:
Launch a docker container from that image built above. This will
volume mount the mal directory to
/mal and then give you a bash
prompt in the container. You can then run individual mal
implementations and tests:
You can also specify a command to run within the container. For example, to run step2 tests for every implementation (except MATLAB):
./tests/docker-run.sh make SKIP_IMPLS="matlab" test^step2
- JVM-based language implementations (Java, Clojure, Scala): you will need to run these implementations once manually first before you can run tests because runtime dependencies need to be downloaded to avoid the tests timing out. These dependencies are download to dot-files in the /mal directory so they will persist between runs.
- Compiled languages: if your host system is different enough from Ubuntu Utopic then you may need to re-compile your compiled languages from within the container to avoid linker version mismatches.
Mal (make-a-lisp) is licensed under the MPL 2.0 (Mozilla Public License 2.0). See LICENSE.txt for more details.