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The Buckblog

assorted ramblings by Jamis Buck


6 February 2004 — 1-minute read

I recently started hacking on my own [Ruby scripting language, which I’m am tentatively calling “Dragon”.

I’m staying pretty close to Ruby’s syntax, but the biggest difference between Dragon and Ruby is that Dragon will be prototype-based, whereas Ruby (and most other OO languages that I’m aware of) are class-based.

It’s certainly been a fun (and challenging) project so far. I’ve learned a ton about bison and flex, and garbage collection. I’ve got the parser written, and it correctly generates an abstract syntax tree (AST) from valid input. It can output the AST in dot format, which allows me to generate images of the tree for inspection. Good fun.

The garbage collector has been fun to write, too. I (again) followed Ruby by borrowing some of the techniques it uses in its own (mark-and-sweep) collector. I then implemented a copying collector, to see what the pros and cons of the two approaches are. Although I like the copying collector, I ran into a few issues with it that I’m not sure how to get around, so the current incarnation of Dragon uses a mark-and-sweep collector.

Nothing, really, to present yet, but I’ll be posting source code and demos eventually. It would be sooner rather than later except for the fact that I’ve got a week-old daughter that takes up a good deal of my time right now. :)