RunRev compilation (was another "vs" thread)

Richard Gaskin ambassador at
Mon Jan 3 16:16:40 EST 2005

kee nethery wrote:
> long ago in Hypercard land there was a product that would compile 
> hypertalk into an XFCN or XCMD. I would not be surprised if someone on 
> this list wrote it. Perhaps it is time for them to update and productize 
> it?

That was CompileIt!, written by Tom Pittman.  I enjoyed working with an 
unreleased derivative of it made by Mark Hanrek, which automated a lot 
of the symbol linking and stuff that made Pittman's interface nearly 
impossible to work with.

On top of that, since xTalk was never designed for compilation you had 
to do a lot of funky syntax to get any reasonable compilation.  In 
retrospect, working with C is in many ways simpler than the odd Symbol 
Table-HyperTalk mish-mash that CompileIt! required.

But more relevant for Rev is that CompileIt! would require far more than 
an update for anything beyond the 68k instruction set it was designed 
for.  It would require a complete reqwrite to handle PPC, Intel, OS X, 
and the various flavors of UNIX, Linux, and Windows.  That would leave 
only the UI, which wasn't much to write home about. ;)

Maybe another approach would be to cache the compiled Transcript.  The 
engine already generates the code anyway, so we know the core foundation 
is workable and solid.  Attempting to compile in advance of runtime 
would likely require some changes to syntax for those scripts targeted 
for compilation, but should be theoretically doable.

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Media Corporation
  Rev tools and more:

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