mal - Make a Lisp
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1. Mal is a Clojure inspired Lisp interpreter
2. Mal is a learning tool
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). See the make-a-lisp process guide.
The make-a-lisp steps are:
Each make-a-lisp step has an associated architectural diagram. That elements that are new for that step are highlighted in red. Here is the final diagram for step A:
If you are interested 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.
3. Mal is implemented in 82 languages (85 different implementations and 105 runtime modes)
Mal was presented publicly for the first time in a lightning talk at Clojure West 2014 (unfortunately there is no video). See examples/clojurewest2014.mal for the presentation that was given at the conference (yes, the presentation is a mal program).
The simplest way to run any given implementation is to use docker. Every implementation has a docker image pre-built with language dependencies installed. You can launch the REPL using a convenient target in the top level Makefile (where IMPL is the implementation directory name and stepX is the step to run):
make DOCKERIZE=1 "repl^IMPL^stepX" # OR stepA is the default step: make DOCKERIZE=1 "repl^IMPL"
The following implementations are maintained as separate projects:
The Ada implementation was developed with GNAT 4.9 on debian. It also compiles unchanged on windows if you have windows versions of git, GNAT and (optionally) make. There are no external dependencies (readline not implemented).
cd impls/ada make ./stepX\_YYY
The second Ada implementation was developed with GNAT 8 and links with the GNU readline library.
cd impls/ada make ./stepX\_YYY
The GNU awk implementation of mal has been tested with GNU awk 4.1.1.
cd impls/gawk gawk -O -f stepX\_YYY.awk
cd impls/bash bash stepX\_YYY.sh
The BASIC implementation uses a preprocessor that can generate BASIC code that is compatible with both C64 BASIC (CBM v2) and QBasic. The C64 mode has been tested withcbmbasic (the patched version is currently required to fix issues with line input) and the QBasic mode has been tested with qb64.
Generate C64 code and run it using cbmbasic:
cd impls/basic make stepX\_YYY.bas STEP=stepX\_YYY ./run
Generate QBasic code and load it into qb64:
cd impls/basic make MODE=qbasic stepX\_YYY.bas ./qb64 stepX\_YYY.bas
Thanks to Steven Syrek for the original inspiration for this implementation.
The BBC BASIC V implementation can run in the Brandy interpreter:
cd impls/bbc-basic brandy -quit stepX\_YYY.bbc
Or in ARM BBC BASIC V under RISC OS 3 or later:
\*Dir bbc-basic.riscos \*Run setup \*Run stepX\_YYY
The C implementation of mal requires the following libraries (lib and header packages): glib, libffi6, libgc, and either the libedit or GNU readline library.
cd impls/c make ./stepX\_YYY
The C++ implementation of mal requires g++-4.9 or clang++-3.5 and a readline compatible library to build. See the
for more details:
cd impls/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 220.127.116.11). Both are required to build and run the C# implementation.
cd impls/cs make mono ./stepX\_YYY.exe
The ChucK implementation has been tested with ChucK 18.104.22.168.
cd impls/chuck ./run
For the most part the Clojure implementation requires Clojure 1.5, however, to pass all tests, Clojure 1.8.0-RC4 is required.
cd impls/clojure lein with-profile +stepX trampoline run
sudo npm install -g coffee-script cd impls/coffee coffee ./stepX\_YYY
The implementation has been tested with SBCL, CCL, CMUCL, GNU CLISP, ECL and Allegro CL on Ubuntu 16.04 and Ubuntu 12.04, see the README for more details. Provided you have the dependencies mentioned installed, do the following to run the implementation
cd impls/common-lisp make ./run
The Crystal implementation of mal has been tested with Crystal 0.26.1.
cd impls/crystal crystal run ./stepX\_YYY.cr # OR make # needed to run tests ./stepX\_YYY
The D implementation of mal was tested with GDC 4.8. It requires the GNU readline library.
cd impls/d make ./stepX\_YYY
The Dart implementation has been tested with Dart 1.20.
cd impls/dart dart ./stepX\_YYY
The Emacs Lisp implementation of mal has been tested with Emacs 24.3 and 24.5. While there is very basic readline editing (
cancels the process), it is recommended to use
cd impls/elisp emacs -Q --batch --load stepX\_YYY.el # with full readline support rlwrap emacs -Q --batch --load stepX\_YYY.el
The Elixir implementation of mal has been tested with Elixir 1.0.5.
cd impls/elixir mix stepX\_YYY # Or with readline/line editing functionality: iex -S mix stepX\_YYY
The Elm implementation of mal has been tested with Elm 0.18.0
cd impls/elm make stepX\_YYY.js STEP=stepX\_YYY ./run
cd impls/erlang make # OR MAL\_STEP=stepX\_YYY rebar compile escriptize # build individual step ./stepX\_YYY
cd impls/es6 make node build/stepX\_YYY.js
The F# implementation of mal has been tested on Linux using the Mono F# compiler (fsharpc) and the Mono runtime (version 3.12.1). The mono C# compiler (mcs) is also necessary to compile the readline dependency. All are required to build and run the F# implementation.
cd impls/fsharp make mono ./stepX\_YYY.exe
The Factor implementation of mal has been tested with Factor 0.97 (factorcode.org).
cd impls/factor FACTOR\_ROOTS=. factor -run=stepX\_YYY
The Fantom implementation of mal has been tested with Fantom 1.0.70.
cd impls/fantom make lib/fan/stepX\_YYY.pod STEP=stepX\_YYY ./run
cd impls/forth gforth stepX\_YYY.fs
cd impls/guile guile -L ./ stepX\_YYY.scm
The Smalltalk implementation of mal has been tested with GNU Smalltalk 3.2.91.
cd impls/gnu-smalltalk ./run
The Go implementation of mal requires that go is installed on on the path. The implementation has been tested with Go 1.3.1.
cd impls/go make ./stepX\_YYY
The Groovy implementation of mal requires Groovy to run and has been tested with Groovy 1.8.6.
cd impls/groovy make groovy ./stepX\_YYY.groovy
The Haskell implementation requires the ghc compiler version 7.10.1 or later and also the Haskell parsec and readline (or editline) packages.
cd impls/haskell make ./stepX\_YYY
The Hy implementation of mal has been tested with Hy 0.13.0.
cd impls/hy ./stepX\_YYY.hy
The Io implementation of mal has been tested with Io version 20110905.
cd impls/io io ./stepX\_YYY.io
The Java implementation of mal requires maven2 to build.
cd impls/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 impls/js npm install node stepX\_YYY.js
The Julia implementation of mal requires Julia 0.4.
cd impls/julia julia stepX\_YYY.jl
Tested against version 1.6, with a lot of cheating in the IO department
cd impls/jq STEP=stepA\_YYY ./run # with Debug DEBUG=true STEP=stepA\_YYY ./run
The Kotlin implementation of mal has been tested with Kotlin 1.0.
cd impls/kotlin make java -jar stepX\_YYY.jar
The LiveScript implementation of mal has been tested with LiveScript 1.5.
cd impls/livescript make node\_modules/.bin/lsc stepX\_YYY.ls
The Logo implementation of mal has been tested with UCBLogo 6.0.
cd impls/logo logo stepX\_YYY.lg
The Lua implementation of mal has been tested with Lua 5.3.5 The implementation requires luarocks to be installed.
cd impls/lua make # to build and link linenoise.so and rex\_pcre.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 impls/IMPL IMPL\_STEPA\_CMD ../mal/stepX\_YYY.mal
cd impls/make make -f stepX\_YYY.mk
The NASM implementation of mal is written for x86-64 Linux, and has been tested with Linux 3.16.0-4-amd64 and NASM version 2.11.05.
cd impls/nasm make ./stepX\_YYY
The Nim implementation of mal has been tested with Nim 1.0.4.
cd impls/nim make # OR nimble build ./stepX\_YYY
The Object Pascal implementation of mal has been built and tested on Linux using the Free Pascal compiler version 2.6.2 and 2.6.4.
cd impls/objpascal make ./stepX\_YYY
The Objective C implementation of mal has been built and tested on Linux using clang/LLVM 3.6. It has also been built and tested on OS X using XCode 7.
cd impls/objc make ./stepX\_YYY
cd impls/ocaml make ./stepX\_YYY
The MatLab implementation has been tested with GNU Octave 4.2.1. It has also been tested with MATLAB version R2014a on Linux. Note that MATLAB is a commercial product.
cd impls/matlab ./stepX\_YYY octave -q --no-gui --no-history --eval "stepX\_YYY();quit;" matlab -nodisplay -nosplash -nodesktop -nojvm -r "stepX\_YYY();quit;" # OR with command line arguments octave -q --no-gui --no-history --eval "stepX\_YYY('arg1','arg2');quit;" matlab -nodisplay -nosplash -nodesktop -nojvm -r "stepX\_YYY('arg1','arg2');quit;"
npm install export PATH=
miniMAL ./stepX_YYY ```
The Perl 5 implementation should work with perl 5.19.3 and later.
For readline line editing support, install Term::ReadLine::Perl or Term::ReadLine::Gnu from CPAN.
cd impls/perl perl stepX\_YYY.pl
The Perl 6 implementation was tested on Rakudo Perl 6 2016.04.
cd impls/perl6 perl6 stepX\_YYY.pl
The PHP implementation of mal requires the php command line interface to run.
cd impls/php php stepX\_YYY.php
The Picolisp implementation requires libreadline and Picolisp 3.1.11 or later.
cd impls/picolisp ./run
The Pike implementation was tested on Pike 8.0.
cd impls/pike pike stepX\_YYY.pike
The PL/pgSQL implementation of mal requires a running PostgreSQL server (the "kanaka/mal-test-plpgsql" docker image automatically starts a PostgreSQL server). The implementation connects to the PostgreSQL server and create a database named "mal" to store tables and stored procedures. The wrapper script uses the psql command to connect to the server and defaults to the user "postgres" but this can be overridden with the PSQL_USER environment variable. A password can be specified using the PGPASSWORD environment variable. The implementation has been tested with PostgreSQL 9.4.
cd impls/plpgsql ./wrap.sh stepX\_YYY.sql # OR PSQL\_USER=myuser PGPASSWORD=mypass ./wrap.sh stepX\_YYY.sql
The PL/SQL implementation of mal requires a running Oracle DB server (the "kanaka/mal-test-plsql" docker image automatically starts an Oracle Express server). The implementation connects to the Oracle server to create types, tables and stored procedures. The default SQL*Plus logon value (username/[email protected]_identifier) is "system/oracle" but this can be overridden with the ORACLE_LOGON environment variable. The implementation has been tested with Oracle Express Edition 11g Release 2. Note that any SQL*Plus connection warnings (user password expiration, etc) will interfere with the ability of the wrapper script to communicate with the DB.
cd impls/plsql ./wrap.sh stepX\_YYY.sql # OR ORACLE\_LOGON=myuser/[email protected] ./wrap.sh stepX\_YYY.sql
The PostScript implementation of mal requires Ghostscript to run. It has been tested with Ghostscript 9.10.
cd impls/ps gs -q -dNODISPLAY -I./ stepX\_YYY.ps
The PowerShell implementation of mal requires the PowerShell script language. It has been tested with PowerShell 6.0.0 Alpha 9 on Linux.
cd impls/powershell powershell ./stepX\_YYY.ps1
cd impls/python python stepX\_YYY.py
The second Python implementation makes heavy use of type annotations and uses the Arpeggio parser library.
# Recommended: do these steps in a Python virtual environment. pip3 install Arpeggio==1.9.0 python3 stepX\_YYY.py
cd impls/rpython make # this takes a very long time ./stepX\_YYY
The R implementation of mal requires R (r-base-core) to run.
cd impls/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 impls/racket ./stepX\_YYY.rkt
The Rexx implementation of mal has been tested with Regina Rexx 3.6.
cd impls/rexx make rexx -a ./stepX\_YYY.rexxpp
cd impls/ruby ruby stepX\_YYY.rb
The rust implementation of mal requires the rust compiler and build tool (cargo) to build.
cd impls/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 impls/scala sbt 'run-main stepX\_YYY' # OR sbt compile scala -classpath target/scala\*/classes stepX\_YYY
The Scheme implementation of mal has been tested with Chibi-Scheme 0.7.3, Kawa 2.4, Gauche 0.9.5, CHICKEN 4.11.0, Sagittarius 0.8.3, Cyclone 0.6.3 (Git version) and Foment 0.4 (Git version). You should be able to get it running on other conforming R7RS implementations after figuring out how libraries are loaded and adjusting the
cd impls/scheme make symlinks # chibi scheme\_MODE=chibi ./run # kawa make kawa scheme\_MODE=kawa ./run # gauche scheme\_MODE=gauche ./run # chicken make chicken scheme\_MODE=chicken ./run # sagittarius scheme\_MODE=sagittarius ./run # cyclone make cyclone scheme\_MODE=cyclone ./run # foment scheme\_MODE=foment ./run
The Skew implementation of mal has been tested with Skew 0.7.42.
cd impls/skew make node stepX\_YYY.js
The Swift implementation of mal requires the Swift 2.0 compiler (XCode 7.0) to build. Older versions will not work due to changes in the language and standard library.
cd impls/swift make ./stepX\_YYY
The Swift 3 implementation of mal requires the Swift 3.0 compiler. It has been tested with Swift 3 Preview 3.
cd impls/swift3 make ./stepX\_YYY
The Swift 4 implementation of mal requires the Swift 4.0 compiler. It has been tested with Swift 4.2.3 release.
cd impls/swift4 make ./stepX\_YYY
The Swift 5 implementation of mal requires the Swift 5.0 compiler. It has been tested with Swift 5.1.1 release.
cd impls/swift5 swift run stepX\_YYY
The Tcl implementation of mal requires Tcl 8.6 to run. For readline line editing support, install tclreadline.
cd impls/tcl tclsh ./stepX\_YYY.tcl
The TypeScript implementation of mal requires the TypeScript 2.2 compiler. It has been tested with Node.js v6.
cd impls/ts make node ./stepX\_YYY.js
The Vala implementation of mal has been tested with the Vala 0.40.8 compiler. You will need to install
cd impls/vala make ./stepX\_YYY
The VHDL implementation of mal has been tested with GHDL 0.29.
cd impls/vhdl make ./run\_vhdl.sh ./stepX\_YYY
The Vimscript implementation of mal requires Vim 8.0 to run.
cd impls/vimscript ./run\_vimscript.sh ./stepX\_YYY.vim
The VB.NET implementation of mal has been tested on Linux using the Mono VB compiler (vbnc) and the Mono runtime (version 22.214.171.124). Both are required to build and run the VB.NET implementation.
cd impls/vb make mono ./stepX\_YYY.exe
cd impls/wasm # node make wasm\_MODE=node ./run.js ./stepX\_YYY.wasm # wasmtime make wasm\_MODE=wasmtime wasmtime --dir=./ --dir=../ --dir=/ ./stepX\_YYY.wasm # wasmer make wasm\_MODE=wasmer wasmer run --dir=./ --dir=../ --dir=/ ./stepX\_YYY.wasm # lucet make wasm\_MODE=lucet lucet-wasi --dir=./:./ --dir=../:../ --dir=/:/ ./stepX\_YYY.so # wax make wasm\_MODE=wax wax ./stepX\_YYY.wasm # wace make wasm\_MODE=wace\_libc wace ./stepX\_YYY.wasm # warpy make wasm\_MODE=warpy warpy --argv --memory-pages 256 ./stepX\_YYY.wasm
The XSLT implementation of mal is written with XSLT 3 and tested on Saxon 126.96.36.199 Home Edition.
cd impls/xslt STEP=stepX\_YY ./run
The Wren implementation of mal was tested on Wren 0.2.0.
cd impls/wren wren ./stepX\_YYY.wren
The Yorick implementation of mal was tested on Yorick 2.2.04.
cd impls/yorick yorick -batch ./stepX\_YYY.i
The Zig implementation of mal was tested on Zig 0.5.
cd impls/zig zig build stepX\_YYY
The top level Makefile has a number of useful targets to assist with implementation development and testing. The
target provides a list of the targets and options:
The are almost 800 generic functional tests (for all implementations) in the
directory. Each step has a corresponding test file containing tests specific to that step. The
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.
make "test^IMPL" # e.g. make "test^clojure" make "test^js"
make "test^stepX" # e.g. make "test^step2" make "test^step7"
make "test^IMPL^stepX" # e.g make "test^ruby^step3" make "test^ps^step4"
as the test implementation and use the
make "test^mal^step2" # js is default make MAL_IMPL=ruby "test^mal^step2" make MAL_IMPL=python "test^mal^step2" ```
make "repl^IMPL^stepX" # e.g make "repl^ruby^step3" make "repl^ps^step4"
make "repl^IMPL" # e.g make "repl^ruby" make "repl^ps"
as the REPL implementation and use the
make "repl^mal^step2" # js is default make MAL_IMPL=ruby "repl^mal^step2" make MAL_IMPL=python "repl^mal" ```
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.
make "perf^js" ```
make "stats^js" ```
Every implementation directory contains a Dockerfile to create a docker image containing all the dependencies for that implementation. In addition, the top-level Makefile contains support for running the tests target (and perf, stats, repl, etc) within a docker container for that implementation by passing _"DOCKERIZE=1"_on the make command line. For example:
make DOCKERIZE=1 "test^js^step3"
Existing implementations already have docker images built and pushed to the docker registry. However, if you wish to build or rebuild a docker image locally, the toplevel Makefile provides a rule for building docker images:
Notes: * Docker images are named _"kanaka/mal-test-IMPL"_* JVM-based language implementations (Groovy, Java, Clojure, Scala): you will probably need to run this command once manually first
make DOCKERIZE=1 "repl^IMPL"
before you can run tests because runtime dependencies need to be downloaded to avoid the tests timing out. These dependencies are downloaded to dot-files in the /mal directory so they will persist between runs.
Mal (make-a-lisp) is licensed under the MPL 2.0 (Mozilla Public License 2.0). See LICENSE.txt for more details.