Bootstrapping LISP in a Boot Sector (by jart)

Sectorlisp Alternatives

Similar projects and alternatives to sectorlisp

NOTE: The number of mentions on this list indicates mentions on common posts plus user suggested alternatives. Hence, a higher number means a better sectorlisp alternative or higher similarity.

sectorlisp reviews and mentions

Posts with mentions or reviews of sectorlisp. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2022-10-08.
  • Ask HN: Best book to learn C in 2022?
    8 projects | | 8 Oct 2022
  • Take More Screenshots
    24 projects | | 24 Jul 2022
    I think SIMD was a distraction to our conversation, most code doesn't use it and in the future the length agnostic, flexible vectors; are a better solution. They are a lot like RVV;, research around vector processing is why RISC-V exists in the first place!

    I was trying to find the smallest Rust Wasm interpreters I could find, I should have read the source first, I only really use wasmtime, but this one looks very interesting, zero deps, zero unsafe.

    16.5kloc of Rust

    The most complete wasm env for small devices is wasm3

    20kloc of C

    I get what you are saying as to be so small that there isn't a place of bugs to hide.

    > “There are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies, and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. The first method is far more difficult.” CAR Hoare

    Even a 100 line program can't be guaranteed to be free of bugs. These programs need embedded tests to ensure that the layer below them is functioning as intended. They cannot and should not run open loop. Speaking of 300+ reimplementations, I am sure that RISC-V has already exceeded that. The smallest readable implementation is like 200 lines of code;

    I don't think Wasm suffers from the base extension issue you bring up. It will get larger, but 1.0 has the right algebraic properties to be useful forever. Wasm does require an environment, for archival purposes that environment should be written in Wasm, with api for instantiating more envs passed into the first env. There are two solutions to the Wasm generating and calling Wasm problem. First would be a trampoline, where one returns Wasm from the first Wasm program which is then re-instantiated by the outer env. The other would be to pass in the api to create new Wasm envs over existing memory buffers.


    MS-DOS, NES or C64 are useful for archival purposes because they are dead, frozen in time along with a large corpus of software. But there is a ton of complexity in implementing those systems with enough fidelity to run software.

    Lua, Typed Assembly; and Sector Lisp; seem to have the right minimalism and compactness for archival purposes. Maybe it is sectorlisp+rv32+wasm.

    If there are directions you would like Wasm to go, I really recommend attending the Wasm CG meetings.

    When it comes to an archival system, I'd like it to be able to run anything from an era, not just specially crafted binaries. I think Wasm meets that goal.

  • *Laughs in autocmd*
    4 projects | | 30 Jun 2022
    Based on this, the next thing you wrote, and your reference to running a minimal Gentoo: I think you might be a Scheme fan in the making. Scheme is the minimal Lisp. (Okay, that might be sectorlisp which fits in 512 bytes.) It’s hands down my favorite language. While it’s evolved on its own to be more of a superset of Scheme, Racket is my Scheme of choice.
  • That's pretty much it!
    7 projects | | 26 Feb 2022
  • Show HN: Lisp with GC in 436 Bytes
    6 projects | | 20 Dec 2021
    SectorLISP has always had a C implementation for explainability. It started off as ugly C because it was actually used to generate the assembly code for the first ~900 byte version. See and Once we reached 512 bytes I started deleting a lot of the C code since things like assembly macros weren't needed anymore, since the assembly was now being written by hand.

    Once I cleaned up the C code, I noticed that the entire program didn't use pointers at all! (Except of course to interop with Bestline, but that could be replaced with fgetwc() instead). That's when the idea occurred to me that, since it didn't use pointers, it was also technically valid JavaScript too. So I asked around on Twitter to see if anyone's done a C / JS polyglot before. I got some helpful tips from a code golfer in Estonia who experimented with the idea and he told me about the paragraph separator trick.

  • A completely-from-scratch hobby operating system
    5 projects | | 31 Oct 2021
    Just curious how hard it would be to forego POSIX entirely if you were building an OS. I know TempleOS is entirely from scratch. I'd like to implement a small LISP like SectorLISP [1] (see yesterday's posts too on HN). I don't know much about building my own OS, so I'd like to start with something like MenuetOS (my first PL was asm), SerenityOS, TempleOS, or this one. I'd like it to be completely an 'island', i.e. POSIX not a requirement. I want to use it to hack on in isolation without any easy copy/paste shortcuts. I know Mezzano exists, and it has booted on bare metal, but I would like to start with the OS's above, implement my own LISP, and go from there.

    Any other OS recommendations base on my ignorant, but wishful, reqs above? I realize there are some others in Rust too. Thanks!


  • Lisp in a Weekend
    4 projects | | 9 Oct 2021
  • BootOS operating system in 512 bytes
    3 projects | | 27 Aug 2021
  • What is the smallest x86 lisp?
    5 projects | | 25 Jun 2021
    sectorlisp implements a dynamically scoped Lisp for 8086 (yes, it will still run on a x86-64 machine as they boot into 8086 mode). Once I considered shrinking it further by using a bytecode for the Lisp interpreter (making it two interpreters in one, yes) which ideally would be smaller than 8086 instructions, but I never got it to work.
    5 projects | | 25 Jun 2021
    What about sectorlisp?
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Basic sectorlisp repo stats
7 months ago
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