Embedded Language Wars


My revulsion for Python stems from its 1960’s-era column-based syntax, and the fact that it’s just another generic scripting language. A bunch of people rallied around it and now it is the new hotness. This, too, will pass.

Guido van Rossum: Actually, my initial goal for Python was to serve as a second language for people who were C or C++ programmers, but who had work where writing a C program was just not effective.

Hmm, sounds a lot like Perl. I’ll give you that it has a rather … unique … syntactical style.

For embedded systems, it’s hard to beat Tcl (jimtcl being my implementation of choice). For you functional programmers out there, Forth or Lisp would be a good alternative.

As far as hack values go, hey, knock yourself out. :slight_smile:

(edit: I’ll add that Tcl has its own issues: Dealing with numeric values and computations are a major pain. But as a “Tool Command Langauge”, it kinda rocks.)

[Project Log] Python on the 6502/C64, 8080, 6800, 6809 and AVR

A f^&&% man! It so causes flashbacks to Hollerith formatting punch cards for me…


Well it is an improvement over Perl, which is the very definition of a write only language! Heck, they even had contests in who could create the most unreadable perl code.

Unlike the C versions, it was tough to write Perl in a non write-only language.


Sure GOD wrote in Lisp and the Daemon wrote Forth but I’d take pascal and REXX before either of them.

And nothing too wrong with TCL. I’ve written a lot of unix apps in that, but when one throws in tk gui and the install becomes over +600mb (yes a reason I’m not too keen with all 3rd gen languages) for one functional library thats when its time to question design ideas.


Yep, like Pascal, but pure pascal is a VERY limited language. It took many extensions (non-standard) to make it useful for anything beyond its intended purpose–teaching structured programming.

I do like REXX, it is a great scripting language, even if it is tainted by its IBM origins…

Now FORTH is a great language, particularly for small systems, but there is a reason that LISP stands for Lost in Stupid Parenthesis…


Now that this has devolved into an embedded language free for all. . .

FORTH is an embedded systems great. Compact, interactive, easy to implement, surprisingly powerful, infinitely hackable. A great secret weapon back in the days of limited and expensive development tools. Also, a great match for the little CPUs without any special execution optimizations.

LISP does not require parenthesis. It requires a list implementation, some basic list maniuplation, and a way to bind symbols to functions. I would add a way to bind symbols to values, but that’s a subset of the prior.

LISP’s lists provide a level of abstraction that FORTH, bound to a single stack, does not, and is the source of its power.

The two language families are beautiful, slightly asymmetric bookends of the programming language spectrum, and both can be delightful and enlightening.


What no ADA? I have a friend who got his PhD in Comp Sci. and he loves ADA. He also consults for the government at $150 an hour plus.