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Using Gambit-C Scheme to Create Small, Efficient Native Applications

Sep 15, 2009, 07:32 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Mark Watson)

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"I like working in high-level languages like Lisp and Ruby, but finding one that produces the small native standalone applications that I sometimes need to build is not easy. The two languages I have found useful in the past are Scheme, a portable Lisp dialect that is often used in computer science classes, and Haskell. However, in the past year I discovered the Gambit-C Scheme system, which I have used ever since to build my small native applications. When combined with an effective Emacs-based development environment, Gambit-C Scheme provides a high-level dynamic language with good runtime and memory performance, as well as good deployment options.

"In this article, I provide a quick introduction to Scheme and cover the issues involved with using it to build native applications on Linux and OS X (there is a Windows installer for Gambit-C and my instructions should also get you going if you have mingw installed). I conclude with two simple application examples: extracting information from text files and writing a mini web service that can support REST clients. Each application is self-contained in a single executable file (click here to download the source code)."

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