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digitalmars.D.announce - MiniD 2 - Might as well be done

reply Jarrett Billingsley <jarrett.billingsley gmail.com> writes:
I'm bad at meeting deadlines.  Partly because I mismanage my time, but
a large part of it is also because being a perfectionist, I never know
when to _stop working on something_.  After nearly two years in
development, I think I'm ready to call MiniD 2 "gold."

http://www.dsource.org/projects/minid

I write lots of docs.  Please read them.

= Oh wow, an interpreted version of D! =

NO!  That was the aim _three years ago_ but by now it's a completely
different language.  Please read the docs before you form your
opinions on what it is :)

= What's changed since MiniD 1? =

Lots.  It's enough to say that it's practically a different language.
To be honest, I don't even consider MiniD 1 - either the language or
the implementation thereof - anything more than a crude, unfinished
work.  MiniD 2 is what I consider to be the first _actual_
language/implementation.

The MiniD 2 reference implementation is far more mature, complete, and
efficient than its predecessor.  It has been reimplemented pretty much
from scratch and now features its own heap and GC separate from D's.
While this does incur a bit of a hit on the terseness of the native
API, it also manifests itself in a frankly _incredible_ increase in
performance, as well as features that would have been difficult or
impossible to implement using the native GC (like weak references and
class finalizers).

What kind of performance, you ask?  Well, almost every test I've run
kicks the crap out of Python, and is more in the ballpark of Lua.  The
only tests that don't quite measure up are those which are GC-heavy.
The current implementation uses a simple mark-and-sweep GC, but that
is one of my main development priorities after this release.  If I can
reach Lua's performance - awesome!

The API is much more like Lua's now, though with some nice perks due
to overloading that aren't possible in a C API.  Writing code for what
is essentially a stack language is kind of nice, in some ways.  Being
such a departure from what most people are used to, though, it can
take some getting used to.

The API is also much more "there is one way to do it."  The old MiniD
1 - and early MiniD 2 - APIs sometimes had several, inconsistent
methods of acquiring information.  This has been entirely done away
with.  That being said, D's current protection mechanisms (and DMD's
forward reference issues) are woefully inadequate for dividing up the
API the way I want to, forcing almost all of the public API functions
into a single module.  Sorry for that.

= I'm bearophile, and I don't think it performs as well as <X>, and
isn't similar enough to Python. =

OK.  Give me some benchmarks, and I'll see what's taking so long.  As
for the language style?  Tough luck ;)  I admit the standard library
probably doesn't have as many lazy-evaluation functions and datatypes
as it could, but that can certainly change.  I am open to suggestions!

= Why do I need it? =

I don't know!  Maybe you're just interested in learning new languages.
 Maybe you've got a legitimate need for a scripting language in one of
the D apps you're writing.  Whatever.  I can't tell you why you need
it.  Only you know that.

For a high-level, pseudo-philosophical introduction to the language,
see http://www.dsource.org/projects/minid/wiki/Introduction2

I recommend you read the spec and the language tutorial if you're
wondering what the language is all about.  _Then_ can you tell me what
you do and don't like.

= What prerequisites do I need, and how do I install it? =

D1 with Tango 0.99.8, currently.  That's about it, as far as the core
language and its standard libraries are concerned.

Installation instructions are available here:
http://www.dsource.org/projects/minid/wiki/Installation  I plan on
putting some more detailed docs up especially w.r.t. feti's sandbox
script, since I haven't been able to get some configurations to work.

If you're having trouble installing a D compiler or build tool or
Tango, I'm sorry, but I just don't have the time or patience to help
you install the prerequisites.  I have spent far too much time helping
others install those and it's just.. well, it's not my fault that the
D toolchain is currently so fractured and hard-to-use, and I've kind
of lost the will to help anyone else.  Sorry :\

MiniD works fine with DMD and LDC.  GDC is too old to compile it.  Bug
David Friedman or Arthur about that.  :|

= How do I <x>? =

Please ask me.  Here on the newsgroups is OK, but for more long-term
conversations, *please* sign up for a dsource account and post your
questions to the MiniD dsource forum
(http://www.dsource.org/forums/viewforum.php?f=94).  If you don't have
a dsource account already, why not? ;)  If you're one of those people
who refuses to post on one of those "dirty, slow, inefficient" web
forums, well, I guess you're not getting any help!  Or you could just
email me, but by doing that, you'll be depriving anyone else from
seeing your question and the resulting answer.  Your choice.

I love writing documentation, and if you find any part of it
inadequate or confusing, *let me know*.  If there is a particular
style of documentation you respond particularly well to, *let me
know*.  I'm pretty responsive to communication, so if you've got
questions, ideas, suggestions, comments, flames - WHATEVER - please
let me know.

= You're drunk, aren't you? =

A little.

= What else? =

Nothing!  Really.  Except maybe if you're interested in 3D graphics,
there _are_ SDL and OpenGL bindings for MiniD already.  <_<

= I want to help! =

Then submit a patch!  I have to admit, I'm a bit like Walter in that I
might not accept your code unless I review it, know you personally to
be a skilled developer, and/or believe that it is a worthwhile
addition.  However, "unofficial" patches can be just as useful to
others as core language features.  Development is fun!  Contribute!

= What are your plans for the future? =

Some performance improvements; a better GC would be nice.  Haven't
done much GC research so I'd like to get into that.  Maybe a JIT
compiler a little further off.  More addon libraries, definitely!

That's all.  I don't think I'll have any kind of versioning scheme
save for the most important revisions.  Other than that, I think I'll
just base the "versions" off of the SVN revision that they correspond
to.  It's not like any other D library really has any kind of reliable
release schedule :P

Any questions, just ask, please!
Jun 15 2009
next sibling parent "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> writes:
On Mon, 15 Jun 2009 19:31:33 -0400, Jarrett Billingsley  
<jarrett.billingsley gmail.com> wrote:

 = I'm bearophile, and I don't think it performs as well as <X>, and
 isn't similar enough to Python. =

lol!
 Any questions, just ask, please!

mdsh? But I'll still give it a look. I haven't learned a new language in a while, I'm due. -Steve
Jun 15 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent Jarrett Billingsley <jarrett.billingsley gmail.com> writes:
On Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 9:06 PM, Steven
Schveighoffer<schveiguy yahoo.com> wrote:
 On Mon, 15 Jun 2009 19:31:33 -0400, Jarrett Billingsley
 <jarrett.billingsley gmail.com> wrote:

 =3D I'm bearophile, and I don't think it performs as well as <X>, and
 isn't similar enough to Python. =3D

lol!
 Any questions, just ask, please!

mdsh? =A0But I'll still give it a look. =A0I haven't learned a new langua=

 while, I'm due.

MDCL is the current closest thing. But mdsh is on the menu! GOD I can't wait to do shellscripting without the ridiculous legacy of shellscript.
Jun 15 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent Robert Fraser <fraserofthenight gmail.com> writes:
Jarrett Billingsley wrote:
 I'm bad at meeting deadlines.  Partly because I mismanage my time, but
 a large part of it is also because being a perfectionist, I never know
 when to _stop working on something_.  After nearly two years in
 development, I think I'm ready to call MiniD 2 "gold."
 
 http://www.dsource.org/projects/minid
 
 I write lots of docs.  Please read them.
 
 = Oh wow, an interpreted version of D! =
 
 NO!  That was the aim _three years ago_ but by now it's a completely
 different language.  Please read the docs before you form your
 opinions on what it is :)
 
 = What's changed since MiniD 1? =
 
 Lots.  It's enough to say that it's practically a different language.
 To be honest, I don't even consider MiniD 1 - either the language or
 the implementation thereof - anything more than a crude, unfinished
 work.  MiniD 2 is what I consider to be the first _actual_
 language/implementation.
 
 The MiniD 2 reference implementation is far more mature, complete, and
 efficient than its predecessor.  It has been reimplemented pretty much
 from scratch and now features its own heap and GC separate from D's.
 While this does incur a bit of a hit on the terseness of the native
 API, it also manifests itself in a frankly _incredible_ increase in
 performance, as well as features that would have been difficult or
 impossible to implement using the native GC (like weak references and
 class finalizers).
 
 What kind of performance, you ask?  Well, almost every test I've run
 kicks the crap out of Python, and is more in the ballpark of Lua.  The
 only tests that don't quite measure up are those which are GC-heavy.
 The current implementation uses a simple mark-and-sweep GC, but that
 is one of my main development priorities after this release.  If I can
 reach Lua's performance - awesome!
 
 The API is much more like Lua's now, though with some nice perks due
 to overloading that aren't possible in a C API.  Writing code for what
 is essentially a stack language is kind of nice, in some ways.  Being
 such a departure from what most people are used to, though, it can
 take some getting used to.
 
 The API is also much more "there is one way to do it."  The old MiniD
 1 - and early MiniD 2 - APIs sometimes had several, inconsistent
 methods of acquiring information.  This has been entirely done away
 with.  That being said, D's current protection mechanisms (and DMD's
 forward reference issues) are woefully inadequate for dividing up the
 API the way I want to, forcing almost all of the public API functions
 into a single module.  Sorry for that.
 
 = I'm bearophile, and I don't think it performs as well as <X>, and
 isn't similar enough to Python. =
 
 OK.  Give me some benchmarks, and I'll see what's taking so long.  As
 for the language style?  Tough luck ;)  I admit the standard library
 probably doesn't have as many lazy-evaluation functions and datatypes
 as it could, but that can certainly change.  I am open to suggestions!
 
 = Why do I need it? =
 
 I don't know!  Maybe you're just interested in learning new languages.
  Maybe you've got a legitimate need for a scripting language in one of
 the D apps you're writing.  Whatever.  I can't tell you why you need
 it.  Only you know that.
 
 For a high-level, pseudo-philosophical introduction to the language,
 see http://www.dsource.org/projects/minid/wiki/Introduction2
 
 I recommend you read the spec and the language tutorial if you're
 wondering what the language is all about.  _Then_ can you tell me what
 you do and don't like.
 
 = What prerequisites do I need, and how do I install it? =
 
 D1 with Tango 0.99.8, currently.  That's about it, as far as the core
 language and its standard libraries are concerned.
 
 Installation instructions are available here:
 http://www.dsource.org/projects/minid/wiki/Installation  I plan on
 putting some more detailed docs up especially w.r.t. feti's sandbox
 script, since I haven't been able to get some configurations to work.
 
 If you're having trouble installing a D compiler or build tool or
 Tango, I'm sorry, but I just don't have the time or patience to help
 you install the prerequisites.  I have spent far too much time helping
 others install those and it's just.. well, it's not my fault that the
 D toolchain is currently so fractured and hard-to-use, and I've kind
 of lost the will to help anyone else.  Sorry :\
 
 MiniD works fine with DMD and LDC.  GDC is too old to compile it.  Bug
 David Friedman or Arthur about that.  :|
 
 = How do I <x>? =
 
 Please ask me.  Here on the newsgroups is OK, but for more long-term
 conversations, *please* sign up for a dsource account and post your
 questions to the MiniD dsource forum
 (http://www.dsource.org/forums/viewforum.php?f=94).  If you don't have
 a dsource account already, why not? ;)  If you're one of those people
 who refuses to post on one of those "dirty, slow, inefficient" web
 forums, well, I guess you're not getting any help!  Or you could just
 email me, but by doing that, you'll be depriving anyone else from
 seeing your question and the resulting answer.  Your choice.
 
 I love writing documentation, and if you find any part of it
 inadequate or confusing, *let me know*.  If there is a particular
 style of documentation you respond particularly well to, *let me
 know*.  I'm pretty responsive to communication, so if you've got
 questions, ideas, suggestions, comments, flames - WHATEVER - please
 let me know.
 
 = You're drunk, aren't you? =
 
 A little.
 
 = What else? =
 
 Nothing!  Really.  Except maybe if you're interested in 3D graphics,
 there _are_ SDL and OpenGL bindings for MiniD already.  <_<
 
 = I want to help! =
 
 Then submit a patch!  I have to admit, I'm a bit like Walter in that I
 might not accept your code unless I review it, know you personally to
 be a skilled developer, and/or believe that it is a worthwhile
 addition.  However, "unofficial" patches can be just as useful to
 others as core language features.  Development is fun!  Contribute!
 
 = What are your plans for the future? =
 
 Some performance improvements; a better GC would be nice.  Haven't
 done much GC research so I'd like to get into that.  Maybe a JIT
 compiler a little further off.  More addon libraries, definitely!
 
 That's all.  I don't think I'll have any kind of versioning scheme
 save for the most important revisions.  Other than that, I think I'll
 just base the "versions" off of the SVN revision that they correspond
 to.  It's not like any other D library really has any kind of reliable
 release schedule :P
 
 Any questions, just ask, please!

Awesome; thanks! How's its standard library file manipulation support and Windows registry handling? THis could be the perfect build scripting tool...
Jun 15 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent "Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> writes:
"Jarrett Billingsley" <jarrett.billingsley gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:mailman.264.1245108702.13405.digitalmars-d-announce puremagic.com...
 I recommend you read the spec and the language tutorial if you're
 wondering what the language is all about.

Where is the language tutorial?
 = You're drunk, aren't you? =

 A little.

lol. Watch out for the localized glitches in gravity :)
Jun 16 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent Tim Matthews <tim.matthews7 gmail.com> writes:
Jarrett Billingsley wrote:
 
 What kind of performance, you ask?  Well, almost every test I've run
 kicks the crap out of Python, and is more in the ballpark of Lua.  The
 only tests that don't quite measure up are those which are GC-heavy.

How does it compare to stackless python at doing the tasks stackless was designed for and is good at? If not then have you ever considered such design goals? (Disclaimer: I haven't looked into pretty much anything about minid)
Jun 16 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent Robert Clipsham <robert octarineparrot.com> writes:
Jarrett Billingsley wrote:
 Any questions, just ask, please!

Congrats on finally making a release! The only question I have really, is do you plan on making some release binaries/libraries? You mentioned about the tool chain being difficult to use, it might be nice if there were some premade binaries/libraries people could use to play with mdcl/minid.
Jun 16 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent Jarrett Billingsley <jarrett.billingsley gmail.com> writes:
On Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 1:55 AM, Robert
Fraser<fraserofthenight gmail.com> wrote:

 Any questions, just ask, please!

Awesome; thanks! How's its standard library file manipulation support and

Simple, but you can still do quite a bit. The IO lib: http://www.dsource.org/projects/minid/wiki/StdLib2/IOLib has a good amount of functionality for basic filesystem and path manipulation. If you find it lacking, tell me what you'd like to see :)
 Windows registry handling? THis could be the perfect build scripting tool...

No registry handling, but that might be a nice addon library.
Jun 16 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent Jarrett Billingsley <jarrett.billingsley gmail.com> writes:
On Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 8:05 AM, Tim Matthews<tim.matthews7 gmail.com> wrot=
e:
 Jarrett Billingsley wrote:
 What kind of performance, you ask? =A0Well, almost every test I've run
 kicks the crap out of Python, and is more in the ballpark of Lua. =A0The
 only tests that don't quite measure up are those which are GC-heavy.

How does it compare to stackless python at doing the tasks stackless was designed for and is good at? If not then have you ever considered such design goals? (Disclaimer: I haven't looked into pretty much anything abo=

 minid)

I'm not sure. MiniD's coroutines are basic, but are the foundation on which more complex behavior (schedulers, tasklets, pseudothreads, continuations etc.) can be built. I'd be interested in seeing maybe some Stackless benchmarks. I could port them to MiniD and see how they fare.
Jun 16 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent Jarrett Billingsley <jarrett.billingsley gmail.com> writes:
On Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 3:58 AM, Nick Sabalausky<a a.a> wrote:
 "Jarrett Billingsley" <jarrett.billingsley gmail.com> wrote in message
 news:mailman.264.1245108702.13405.digitalmars-d-announce puremagic.com...
 I recommend you read the spec and the language tutorial if you're
 wondering what the language is all about.

Where is the language tutorial?

On the front page, in the section marked "language tutorial". ;) http://www.dsource.org/projects/minid#LanguageTutorial Some of the later pages aren't yet complete, but I've got nothing but time.
 = You're drunk, aren't you? =

 A little.

lol. Watch out for the localized glitches in gravity :)

Hehe :)
Jun 16 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent Jarrett Billingsley <jarrett.billingsley gmail.com> writes:
On Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 10:31 AM, Robert
Clipsham<robert octarineparrot.com> wrote:
 Jarrett Billingsley wrote:
 Any questions, just ask, please!

Congrats on finally making a release! The only question I have really, is do you plan on making some release binaries/libraries? You mentioned about the tool chain being difficult to use, it might be nice if there were some premade binaries/libraries people could use to play with mdcl/minid.

That's a very good idea. :) http://svn.dsource.org/projects/minid/trunk/mdcl.zip It contains binaries for both Windows and Linux (32-bit).
Jun 16 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent reply BLS <windevguy hotmail.de> writes:
Why not writing a book about D, Jarrett ? The MiniD documents are 
excellent.
In fact you, respective what you write, reminds me to Jesse Liberty + 
Humor. (well,... maybe C++ in 21 days was already a joke) but 
nevertheless Jesse's book was a kind of eye opener to me simply because 
it shows that is IS possible to explain difficult stuff in a smart way.
  So why not JB on D...?
In case of doubt : I am willing to send you a bottle of fine Cognac to 
give the book a very first go. (not kidding)

However, guess like anybody else, I just can say: Thanks for this 
interesting new language.
Björn
Jun 16 2009
next sibling parent BLS <windevguy hotmail.de> writes:
Jarrett Billingsley wrote:
 On Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 10:54 PM, Jesse
 Phillips<jessekphillips gmail.com> wrote:
 On Wed, 17 Jun 2009 00:39:01 +0200, BLS wrote:

 Why not writing a book about D, Jarrett ? The MiniD documents are
 excellent.
 In fact you, respective what you write, reminds me to Jesse Liberty +
 Humor. (well,... maybe C++ in 21 days was already a joke) but
 nevertheless Jesse's book was a kind of eye opener to me simply because
 it shows that is IS possible to explain difficult stuff in a smart way.
   So why not JB on D...?
 In case of doubt : I am willing to send you a bottle of fine Cognac to
 give the book a very first go. (not kidding)

 However, guess like anybody else, I just can say: Thanks for this
 interesting new language.
 Björn

Jesse Liberty being a good author leading to the conclusion that Jarrett should write a book on D. While I have yet to use MiniD, the language looks very impressive and complete. Good work Jarrett.

Thanks.

Der Worte sind genug gewechselt... (copy paste and google J.)
Jun 16 2009
prev sibling parent BLS <windevguy hotmail.de> writes:
Jarrett Billingsley wrote:
 On Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 6:39 PM, BLS<windevguy hotmail.de> wrote:
 Why not writing a book about D, Jarrett ? The MiniD documents are excellent.
 In fact you, respective what you write, reminds me to Jesse Liberty + Humor.
 (well,... maybe C++ in 21 days was already a joke) but nevertheless Jesse's
 book was a kind of eye opener to me simply because it shows that is IS
 possible to explain difficult stuff in a smart way.

It's funny you mention Jesse Liberty's C++ in 21 days. Guess what was the first programming book I ever read? ;) Maybe it influenced me?

I would bet on it. NO You are kidding me.
 
  So why not JB on D...?
 In case of doubt : I am willing to send you a bottle of fine Cognac to give
 the book a very first go. (not kidding)

It'd certainly be an interesting proposition. I also don't know if writing a book on D _now_ is the best idea. If it were based on D1, it might just be obsolete in two or three years. If it were based on D2, well, Andrei has a much better idea of where it's going than I do, and I also doubt Phobos2 has seen the last major changes. But maybe in a bit, when things settle down. I can see a D2-Phobos2 based book next year-ish being much more solid.

Well the Cognac can wait and becomes better, not that sure about you... :) However, a promise is a promise. Just marked one with Jarret. (Hint for me ' don't touch)
 
 However, guess like anybody else, I just can say: Thanks for this
 interesting new language.

Sure!

No seriously.
Jun 16 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent Jesse Phillips <jessekphillips gmail.com> writes:
On Wed, 17 Jun 2009 00:39:01 +0200, BLS wrote:

 Why not writing a book about D, Jarrett ? The MiniD documents are
 excellent.
 In fact you, respective what you write, reminds me to Jesse Liberty +
 Humor. (well,... maybe C++ in 21 days was already a joke) but
 nevertheless Jesse's book was a kind of eye opener to me simply because
 it shows that is IS possible to explain difficult stuff in a smart way.
   So why not JB on D...?
 In case of doubt : I am willing to send you a bottle of fine Cognac to
 give the book a very first go. (not kidding)
 
 However, guess like anybody else, I just can say: Thanks for this
 interesting new language.
 Björn

I agree in regards to both Jarrett having good documentation on MiniD and Jesse Liberty being a good author leading to the conclusion that Jarrett should write a book on D. While I have yet to use MiniD, the language looks very impressive and complete. Good work Jarrett.
Jun 16 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent Jarrett Billingsley <jarrett.billingsley gmail.com> writes:
On Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 10:54 PM, Jesse
Phillips<jessekphillips gmail.com> wrote:
 On Wed, 17 Jun 2009 00:39:01 +0200, BLS wrote:

 Why not writing a book about D, Jarrett ? The MiniD documents are
 excellent.
 In fact you, respective what you write, reminds me to Jesse Liberty +
 Humor. (well,... maybe C++ in 21 days was already a joke) but
 nevertheless Jesse's book was a kind of eye opener to me simply because
 it shows that is IS possible to explain difficult stuff in a smart way.
 =A0 So why not JB on D...?
 In case of doubt : I am willing to send you a bottle of fine Cognac to
 give the book a very first go. (not kidding)

 However, guess like anybody else, I just can say: Thanks for this
 interesting new language.
 Bj=F6rn

I agree in regards to both Jarrett having good documentation on MiniD and Jesse Liberty being a good author leading to the conclusion that Jarrett should write a book on D. While I have yet to use MiniD, the language looks very impressive and complete. Good work Jarrett.

Thanks.
Jun 16 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent Jarrett Billingsley <jarrett.billingsley gmail.com> writes:
On Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 6:39 PM, BLS<windevguy hotmail.de> wrote:
 Why not writing a book about D, Jarrett ? The MiniD documents are excelle=

 In fact you, respective what you write, reminds me to Jesse Liberty + Hum=

 (well,... maybe C++ in 21 days was already a joke) but nevertheless Jesse=

 book was a kind of eye opener to me simply because it shows that is IS
 possible to explain difficult stuff in a smart way.

It's funny you mention Jesse Liberty's C++ in 21 days. Guess what was the first programming book I ever read? ;) Maybe it influenced me?
 =A0So why not JB on D...?
 In case of doubt : I am willing to send you a bottle of fine Cognac to gi=

 the book a very first go. (not kidding)

It'd certainly be an interesting proposition. I also don't know if writing a book on D _now_ is the best idea. If it were based on D1, it might just be obsolete in two or three years. If it were based on D2, well, Andrei has a much better idea of where it's going than I do, and I also doubt Phobos2 has seen the last major changes. But maybe in a bit, when things settle down. I can see a D2-Phobos2 based book next year-ish being much more solid.
 However, guess like anybody else, I just can say: Thanks for this
 interesting new language.

Sure!
Jun 16 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent Jarrett Billingsley <jarrett.billingsley gmail.com> writes:
On Wed, Jun 17, 2009 at 1:06 AM, BLS<windevguy hotmail.de> wrote:
 Jarrett Billingsley wrote:
 On Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 6:39 PM, BLS<windevguy hotmail.de> wrote:
 Why not writing a book about D, Jarrett ? The MiniD documents are
 excellent.
 In fact you, respective what you write, reminds me to Jesse Liberty +
 Humor.
 (well,... maybe C++ in 21 days was already a joke) but nevertheless
 Jesse's
 book was a kind of eye opener to me simply because it shows that is IS
 possible to explain difficult stuff in a smart way.

It's funny you mention Jesse Liberty's C++ in 21 days. =A0Guess what was the first programming book I ever read? =A0;) =A0Maybe it influenced me?

I would bet on it. NO =A0You are kidding me.

Ha! No, I'm serious. :)
 =A0So why not JB on D...?
 In case of doubt : I am willing to send you a bottle of fine Cognac to
 give
 the book a very first go. (not kidding)

It'd certainly be an interesting proposition. =A0I also don't know if writing a book on D _now_ is the best idea. =A0If it were based on D1, it might just be obsolete in two or three years. =A0If it were based on D2, well, Andrei has a much better idea of where it's going than I do, and I also doubt Phobos2 has seen the last major changes. =A0But maybe in a bit, when things settle down. =A0I can see a D2-Phobos2 based book next year-ish being much more solid.

Well the Cognac can wait and becomes better, not that sure about you... =

 However, a promise is a promise. Just marked one with Jarret. (Hint for m=

 don't touch)

:D
 However, guess like anybody else, I just can say: Thanks for this
 interesting new language.

Sure!

No seriously.

Jun 16 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent "Kristian Kilpi" <kjkilpi gmail.com> writes:
On Tue, 16 Jun 2009 02:31:33 +0300, Jarrett Billingsley  
<jarrett.billingsley gmail.com> wrote:
 I'm bad at meeting deadlines.  Partly because I mismanage my time, but
 a large part of it is also because being a perfectionist, I never know
 when to _stop working on something_.  After nearly two years in
 development, I think I'm ready to call MiniD 2 "gold."

Thank-you-very-much for this superb program/language! :)
Jun 19 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent Jarrett Billingsley <jarrett.billingsley gmail.com> writes:
On Sat, Jun 20, 2009 at 1:48 AM, Kristian Kilpi<kjkilpi gmail.com> wrote:
 On Tue, 16 Jun 2009 02:31:33 +0300, Jarrett Billingsley
 <jarrett.billingsley gmail.com> wrote:
 I'm bad at meeting deadlines. =A0Partly because I mismanage my time, but
 a large part of it is also because being a perfectionist, I never know
 when to _stop working on something_. =A0After nearly two years in
 development, I think I'm ready to call MiniD 2 "gold."

Thank-you-very-much for this superb program/language! :)

Thanks for having a look at it!
Jun 19 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent hasen <hasan.aljudy gmail.com> writes:
Jarrett Billingsley wrote:
 I'm bad at meeting deadlines.  Partly because I mismanage my time, but
 a large part of it is also because being a perfectionist, I never know
 when to _stop working on something_.  After nearly two years in
 development, I think I'm ready to call MiniD 2 "gold."
 
 http://www.dsource.org/projects/minid
 
 I write lots of docs.  Please read them.
 
 = Oh wow, an interpreted version of D! =
 
 NO!  That was the aim _three years ago_ but by now it's a completely
 different language.  Please read the docs before you form your
 opinions on what it is :)
 
 = What's changed since MiniD 1? =
 
 Lots.  It's enough to say that it's practically a different language.
 To be honest, I don't even consider MiniD 1 - either the language or
 the implementation thereof - anything more than a crude, unfinished
 work.  MiniD 2 is what I consider to be the first _actual_
 language/implementation.
 
 The MiniD 2 reference implementation is far more mature, complete, and
 efficient than its predecessor.  It has been reimplemented pretty much
 from scratch and now features its own heap and GC separate from D's.
 While this does incur a bit of a hit on the terseness of the native
 API, it also manifests itself in a frankly _incredible_ increase in
 performance, as well as features that would have been difficult or
 impossible to implement using the native GC (like weak references and
 class finalizers).
 
 What kind of performance, you ask?  Well, almost every test I've run
 kicks the crap out of Python, and is more in the ballpark of Lua.  The
 only tests that don't quite measure up are those which are GC-heavy.
 The current implementation uses a simple mark-and-sweep GC, but that
 is one of my main development priorities after this release.  If I can
 reach Lua's performance - awesome!
 
 The API is much more like Lua's now, though with some nice perks due
 to overloading that aren't possible in a C API.  Writing code for what
 is essentially a stack language is kind of nice, in some ways.  Being
 such a departure from what most people are used to, though, it can
 take some getting used to.
 
 The API is also much more "there is one way to do it."  The old MiniD
 1 - and early MiniD 2 - APIs sometimes had several, inconsistent
 methods of acquiring information.  This has been entirely done away
 with.  That being said, D's current protection mechanisms (and DMD's
 forward reference issues) are woefully inadequate for dividing up the
 API the way I want to, forcing almost all of the public API functions
 into a single module.  Sorry for that.
 
 = I'm bearophile, and I don't think it performs as well as <X>, and
 isn't similar enough to Python. =
 
 OK.  Give me some benchmarks, and I'll see what's taking so long.  As
 for the language style?  Tough luck ;)  I admit the standard library
 probably doesn't have as many lazy-evaluation functions and datatypes
 as it could, but that can certainly change.  I am open to suggestions!
 
 = Why do I need it? =
 
 I don't know!  Maybe you're just interested in learning new languages.
  Maybe you've got a legitimate need for a scripting language in one of
 the D apps you're writing.  Whatever.  I can't tell you why you need
 it.  Only you know that.
 
 For a high-level, pseudo-philosophical introduction to the language,
 see http://www.dsource.org/projects/minid/wiki/Introduction2
 
 I recommend you read the spec and the language tutorial if you're
 wondering what the language is all about.  _Then_ can you tell me what
 you do and don't like.
 
 = What prerequisites do I need, and how do I install it? =
 
 D1 with Tango 0.99.8, currently.  That's about it, as far as the core
 language and its standard libraries are concerned.
 
 Installation instructions are available here:
 http://www.dsource.org/projects/minid/wiki/Installation  I plan on
 putting some more detailed docs up especially w.r.t. feti's sandbox
 script, since I haven't been able to get some configurations to work.
 
 If you're having trouble installing a D compiler or build tool or
 Tango, I'm sorry, but I just don't have the time or patience to help
 you install the prerequisites.  I have spent far too much time helping
 others install those and it's just.. well, it's not my fault that the
 D toolchain is currently so fractured and hard-to-use, and I've kind
 of lost the will to help anyone else.  Sorry :\
 
 MiniD works fine with DMD and LDC.  GDC is too old to compile it.  Bug
 David Friedman or Arthur about that.  :|
 
 = How do I <x>? =
 
 Please ask me.  Here on the newsgroups is OK, but for more long-term
 conversations, *please* sign up for a dsource account and post your
 questions to the MiniD dsource forum
 (http://www.dsource.org/forums/viewforum.php?f=94).  If you don't have
 a dsource account already, why not? ;)  If you're one of those people
 who refuses to post on one of those "dirty, slow, inefficient" web
 forums, well, I guess you're not getting any help!  Or you could just
 email me, but by doing that, you'll be depriving anyone else from
 seeing your question and the resulting answer.  Your choice.
 
 I love writing documentation, and if you find any part of it
 inadequate or confusing, *let me know*.  If there is a particular
 style of documentation you respond particularly well to, *let me
 know*.  I'm pretty responsive to communication, so if you've got
 questions, ideas, suggestions, comments, flames - WHATEVER - please
 let me know.
 
 = You're drunk, aren't you? =
 
 A little.
 
 = What else? =
 
 Nothing!  Really.  Except maybe if you're interested in 3D graphics,
 there _are_ SDL and OpenGL bindings for MiniD already.  <_<
 
 = I want to help! =
 
 Then submit a patch!  I have to admit, I'm a bit like Walter in that I
 might not accept your code unless I review it, know you personally to
 be a skilled developer, and/or believe that it is a worthwhile
 addition.  However, "unofficial" patches can be just as useful to
 others as core language features.  Development is fun!  Contribute!
 
 = What are your plans for the future? =
 
 Some performance improvements; a better GC would be nice.  Haven't
 done much GC research so I'd like to get into that.  Maybe a JIT
 compiler a little further off.  More addon libraries, definitely!
 
 That's all.  I don't think I'll have any kind of versioning scheme
 save for the most important revisions.  Other than that, I think I'll
 just base the "versions" off of the SVN revision that they correspond
 to.  It's not like any other D library really has any kind of reliable
 release schedule :P
 
 Any questions, just ask, please!

I had a kinda quick look at it; didn't dig deep into all the documentation, but I can tell that it's a solid effort and seems to be very well documented. I might give it a deeper look sometime later, but right now I have too many things going on in my mind, So I'll just ask a question, Say, a guy like me, who's not very well experienced in writing useful applications (I mostly write throw-away code or university assignments). If I want to write a small program and I want to make it "scriptable", then I suppose that I can use MiniD for that, so do the docs explain how I can do that, or do you kinda assume that I already have an experience doing this kind of thing?
Jun 20 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent Jarrett Billingsley <jarrett.billingsley gmail.com> writes:
On Sat, Jun 20, 2009 at 6:27 AM, hasen<hasan.aljudy gmail.com> wrote:
 Say, a guy like me, who's not very well experienced in writing useful
 applications (I mostly write throw-away code or university assignments).

 If I want to write a small program and I want to make it "scriptable", then
 I suppose that I can use MiniD for that, so do the docs explain how I can do
 that, or do you kinda assume that I already have an experience doing this
 kind of thing?

That's a good point-of-view to ask that question from, and I hadn't considered it. :) As a short answer, I'll give you an account of a small experience I had making a little game. I stubbed out a small engine in D, and wanted to make MiniD a part of it. So the first thing I did was just use it for a configuration and level data system. It's very nice to be able to write the data files using a fully-capable language. A normal configuration file, stored as XML (shudder) or JSON or whatever other data-only format you can think of just seems so pedestrian compared to the flexibility and expressiveness of a programming language. Need ten boxes in a row? [Box(x, 0, 0) for x in 0 .. 10]. How about if you want to move all the objects over by 100 units? objects.each(\i, obj -> obj.pos.x += 100). You'd still be typing the namespace declaration by now if you were using XML. Then I was messing with physics, and wanted to be able to tweak the various simulation parameters on the fly, rather than changing, recompiling, running, seeing that it's horribly off, quitting, changing, recompiling.. so I bound some MiniD functions to set the physics parameters, added an in-game script console, and then I could just change things within the game until they worked right. Then I could just write all those settings out to a file - from within the console, of course - and use them in the original program. The game hasn't gotten much further than that, but already I can see how it's kind of working out. The scripting seems to kind of work its way into areas of the program where it'd be nice to do runtime customization. The in-game console alone opens up so many possibilities: setting up testing scenarios by spawning objects and enemies and jumping to arbitrary levels or positions or events; loading various configuration files in-game to test out which ones I like better; querying all sorts of things about the game and engine on-the-fly (why is performance so bad? ohh, there are 480,000 particles, I'm never killing them off..); and so on and so forth. It's already saved me a lot of time by eliminating the compile-run-test cycle. Being a programmer, I tend to think in terms of computation and programmability, and embedding a scripting language in my program lets me interact with it (through a backdoor or as a matter of course) in those terms. *That* is what I like about it. :)
Jun 20 2009
prev sibling parent Jarrett Billingsley <jarrett.billingsley gmail.com> writes:
On Sat, Jun 20, 2009 at 6:27 AM, hasen<hasan.aljudy gmail.com> wrote:
 Say, a guy like me, who's not very well experienced in writing useful
 applications (I mostly write throw-away code or university assignments).

 If I want to write a small program and I want to make it "scriptable", then
 I suppose that I can use MiniD for that, so do the docs explain how I can do
 that, or do you kinda assume that I already have an experience doing this
 kind of thing?

After I wrote the last post, I realized there are two possible interpretations of your question. Either you want to know in what areas of your program it'd be possible to add scriptability - which I already answered - or you were looking for a more practical answer. Practically speaking, it's pretty simple. Setting up objects in the scripting language's namespaces is easy enough, and though it might look a bit odd ("pushInt(t, 1); newGlobal(t, "numPlayers");"), it's very simple and repetitive, meaning it can be abstracted and automated. Calling script code is equally simple: instead of doing a normal function call, you just use a couple API functions to get the function you want to call, call it, and get any return values (if any). Again, this can be abstracted out into higher-level mechanisms. minid.bind - horrible thing that it is[1] - tries to do some of that for you, automatically wrapping functions, classes, and structs the best it can so that D and MiniD code can interact with each other almost seamlessly. There are other options, like team0xf's xpose, which now has support for MiniD as far as I remember. If you'd like the docs to have some examples on common native-script interaction tasks.. well, yeah, they probably should anyway ;) [1]I say "horrible thing that it is" because it's a tedious mess of horrible string mixins, templates, .stringof parsing hacks, and the like. It is an expression of everything that is wrong or inadequate with D1's (and D's, in general) metaprogramming abilities. Using it also has the potential to kill OPTLINK, since it causes lots of template instantiations in one spot. I can only imagine how much simpler - and as a consequence, more robust - the library would be even if I had nothing more than __ident.
Jun 20 2009