Scripting with C

By Cameron Laird and Kathryn Soraiz, Unix Insider |  Development

Breen on the EiC homepage. He's been largely successful: EiC is even getting favorable mention in publications such as Linux Magazine.


Breen designed EiC for easy portability and flexibility between interactive, batch, and embedded applications. EiC includes packaging mechanisms that simplify deployment and convenient mechanisms for interfacing foreign functions. Working programmers welcome its good diagnostics for array violations and other exceptions.


Furthermore, EiC is quite portable. Versions are available for all common platforms, including a recent port to the EPOC-based Psion handhelds. Many EiC developers use it for Web-based applications, and among available modules are those for MySQL and OpenGL. The EiC Website offers useful details about the language and supports three active EiC-related mailing lists.


Among Breen's plans for the near future is C99 compatibility. At the same time, EiC's portability presents one of his most serious, continuing challenges. He will need to recruit others to help with EiC ports so that he can concentrate on the Linux release, while volunteers maintain the generation apparatus specific to the Windows, Solaris, and other versions.


ElastiC

ElastiC is a bit of an outlier among the languages mentioned here. The others mostly have the semantics of C, with relatively minor variations. Marco Pantaleoni's interpreter, by contrast, is more ambitious and challenging. While its syntax is familiar to anyone who knows C, he uses that syntax to express Smalltalk-like metaprogramming, seasoned with closures, object orientation, and other concepts familiar in languages such as Scheme and Python.


ElastiC is younger than the other implementations mentioned here and is more concerned with getting its design right than with details of database extensions or Web-oriented conveniences. However, Pantaleoni, an engineer for Linuxcare Italia spa, appears to have given ElastiC a sound foundation. Furthermore, its footprint is small enough to invite embedding, and the code appears to be quite efficient and high in performance. It's already SWIGgable, and Pantaleoni offers GTK and inet modules. While the code is clean, it appears to have been ported only as far as the leading Unixes and Windows.


ICI

We devoted the April 1999 Regular Expressions column to ICI. Since then, that C-like, high-level language has appeared in a version 2.1.4, and plans were published this month for 3.0. The biggest news of the summer was relocation of the working sources to a SourceForge CVS store. "This means everyone can get up-to-date copies of the interpreter source code," according to ICI's Website.


GTK is one of ICI's newest modules. Early work on 3.0 handles Unix-style signals.

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