Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Impossible Dream #3

This is, of course, going incredibly slowly and that's just alright.


I'm exploring an interesting architecture. I'm starting to use my script language Pair to script core parts of the game. Pair is Lisp/Scheme-like and very compact (the VM executable [compressed] is 28k without many external functions!). I designed Pair a few years ago with gaming in mind. The original intent was to use it to script many (hundreds or thousands) simultaneous events without having to make everything a state machine. Pair is multithreaded at the virtual machine level and not at the OS level, yielding very lightweight threads. To accomplish this, an explicit frame stack is maintained for function calls, and they are not implemented as C++ function calls underneath. Like Stackless Python which takes a similar approach (and is also used in gaming for its facility in concurrency), it means that Pair can (and does) support continuations because the call stack can be directly manipulated. One of these days I'll put up Pair and source.

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