[e-lang] Happy Tenth Birthday, E

Mark Miller erights at gmail.com
Mon Jul 21 02:06:58 CDT 2008

On Sat, Jul 19, 2008 at 11:32 PM, Allen Short <washort at divmod.com> wrote:

> According to the license info on some of the E-on-Java source files, E's
> original open source release was on 20 July, 1998.

Wow. I can't quite say it seems like almost yesterday. But 10 years is quite
a shock!

> I want to say how much I appreciate the work done by Mark Miller and the
> many others who have contributed to E's development since then.  As per the
> quote on http://erights.org/, thank you for helping keep options open for
> better-designed software systems. As security concerns grow larger in the
> public and the need for concurrent and distributed systems becomes more
> apparent, E is becoming more relevant than ever.


> That's why I'm announcing Ecru, a C runtime for E. I've extended Darius
> Bacon's previous ELib work in C and added a VM based on the Smallcaps
> instruction set. The bytecode compiler is implemented in E and so far I've
> implemented enough of the language to run it.
> I plan to use Ecru alongside Python until it's complete enough to write
> applications with on its own. I've written a Python bridge module that can
> run code in the Ecru VM and exchange objects with it.

It will be wonderful having a Python bridge. So far, all we've had is a Java
bridge. I wonder if it is worth checking whether the semantics of the
E->Python bridge matches the semantics of the composed E->Java->Jython
bridge. Unfortunately, I know almost nothing about either Python or Jython

> I've also written a parser for E and an expander to Kernel-E in Python and
> a primitive REPL based on them.  (Eventually, I hope to rewrite these in E
> as well, and reuse as much of the existing code for 'rune' as possible.)

Good. E. Dean Tribble had made valiant start on a Packrat-style parser
generator in E for E. I'm not sure what its current state is. But the
existing Antlr grammar should be able to generate a C or C++ -based parser.
The E-on-Java system does have an E-based REPL -- start with

> Ecru's project page on Launchpad is http://launchpad.net/ecru/ . A tarball
> is available here: http://code.launchpad.net/ecru/+download . I've only
> tested it on x86 Linux so far, but plan to support other platforms.
> Hopefully Ecru will provide the raw material for making E attractive for
> more projects, especially ones that dynamic languages like Python and Ruby
> are currently being used for. I look forward to your feedback!

Especially with a Python bridge in place.

This is really wonderful news. Thanks so much for doing this!

Text by me above is hereby placed in the public domain

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