[gambit-list] Does Gambit have any dependencies whatsoever?

Mikael mikael.rcv at gmail.com
Wed Jan 2 14:37:15 EST 2013

This is just great and a huge reason to use Gambit in itself really.

Thank you - with wishes of a

Happy New Year to all the Gambit community! :-)


2013/1/2 Marc Feeley <feeley at iro.umontreal.ca>

> On 2012-11-20, at 11:49 AM, Mikael <mikael.rcv at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Guys,
> >
> > While that Gambit makes platform-independent C code is great, isn't
> something related we could give attention to more about Gambit, that it has
> no required dependencies, or how is it?
> >
> > Thinking about it and browsing through ./configure's code I can't see
> any.
> >
> > I think I noticed it's quite common among Scheme implementations to
> require quite many dependencies, sometimes even for as central stuff as
> garbage collection, and obviously there needs to be architectural and
> performance benefits of making these things customized in one piece, as
> well as saving some resources and making deployment in any kind of unusual
> environment exponentially easier, thus giving weight to the identification
> of the software as 'system software'.
> >
> > There are indeed many times when users quite strongly intuitively prefer
> slimmer internal software designs that have no effect on how UI:s actually
> look. Things like load time, UI latency, the direct and indirect effects of
> CPU and RAM consumption such as RAM fragmentation, and grade of leaky
> abstractions causing arbitrary small and big errors during installation and
> runtime would be typical such things, in my understanding. This kind of
> contrast ought also to be reflected in the very strong enthusiasm found
> regarding certain computer manufacturers.
> >
> > The only thing even close to a dep I could think of as being relevant
> for Gambit would be optional bindings for libgmp even though it has a
> somewhat weird license, now that Brad has been clear that there's so much
> differentiated algorithms and architecture-specific custom-written assembly
> in there that it not is feasible to maintain top-notch bignum functionality
> on a per-language-implementation basis today. Libgmp's interface in it's
> present state is averse to deep integration though, in the respect that all
> of its small memory allocations are immovable, so working through its
> sourcecode and resolving that would be of big benefit for actually taking
> it in use. In all cases Gambit's built-in bignum library will always be of
> use as it's neat in all ways.
> >
> > Now, which are the deps - C compiler is optional, and file/process/OS
> thread/time/network handling is OS-internal so those are not deps. Are
> there any deps at all?
> >
> > Any thoughts?
> Gambit has been designed to have as few dependencies as possible.  It only
> needs a few basic things from the C library (such as malloc and setjmp) to
> get a working system.  If the operating system isn't Posix or Windows, it
> will resort to stdio to do I/O.  Obviously, in such a situation, many of
> the fancier features (TCP ports, process ports, etc) will not be available.
> The lack of dependencies it what allows Gambit to build easily on embedded
> systems (Nintendo DS, Xilinx FPGA, etc).
> Marc
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