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README.markdown

Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs

I'm doing a SICP study group with a couple of friends. This is where I will kepp the solutions to the exercises.

Scheme implementation

Despite this being SICP, I've chosen to use Racket. The people there have their own opinion on how to do an introductionary course in Scheme, called How to Design Programs. This is beside the point, though - the idea here is to read through SICP, not to learn Scheme or programming.

At the time, Racket does not have a decent sicp language pack. Instead of trying to figure out a way to restrict the language, I will try to stick at the R5S5 subset, using Racket. If that fails for some reason, I might reconsider.

Tests

I like to keep a bunch of tests for each exercise. I'm just that kind of person.

Although I will do the solutions in SICP-level Scheme, I will not hesitate to use full-blown Racket in the tests. This will give me a nice opportunity to do some cargo-culting, which might be useful if I want to learn Racket in the future.

Tools

I'm not just interested in solving the exercise. I'm interested in building an environment that is up for the task, tailored to me. If Racket was a bit more modern, I would have tried to go with its own tools. Since this is not the case (IMHO), I will just use Ruby.

Generating scaffolds

It is fairly simple. If you want to generate a scaffold for exercise 1.01, just run:

rake exercise[1,1]

If you want to generate the scaffold for the next unsolved task, just do:

rake next

Running tests

Tests can be run the following way:

rake run:exercise[1,1]

If you want to run all tests do:

rake run:all

You can also use watchr to do continuous testing. Just run:

rake watch

Showcases

Some of the chapters require chunks of work that don't fit as exercises. Instead, I need a larger program that can show something meaningful. Occasionally, I will create a "showcase" for those. You can see a list of showcases by running rake -T.

The showcases have a specific directory structure, that's pretty easy to grok. Note, that if you want to run a showcase with a different version of Racket, you need to specify the RACKET environment variable to point to an executable. For example:

RACKET=/path/to/racket rake run:showcase:example

The Picture Language (section 2.2.4)

This is the Escher-like picture library, introduced when talking about data abstraction and robust design. Note, that this might not run with the Racket that you install from Homebrew. It has a bunch of problems with depending on libcairo that I don't care to debug. Downloading a pre-compiled distribution from the Racket site is enough.

RACKET=~/Code/runtime/racket/bin/racket rake run:showcase:picturelang

The metacircular evaluator (section 4.1)

This is the basic metacircular evaluator explored in Chapter 4 for the book. It is very basic and featureless. It is fairly easy to run it, although you should be careful what you are typing in. Run it with:

rake run:showcase:evaluator