Classic programming

Sean Conner spc at
Fri Aug 7 17:11:09 CDT 2015

It was thus said that the Great Eric Christopherson once stated:
> Is there a subset of this group for people who like to program in
> languages or language implementations or libraries that are no longer
> in common mainstream use? Or other groups for such a thing?

  I am to some degree, although I like to look at such langauges for ideas
and not to use.  I find K&R C (pre-ANSI) too horrible a language to
use [1] but even in worse languages there are some neat (if also horrifying)
ideas [2].

  But I'm also interested in older software as well.  One of my "when I get
around to it" projects is playing with the Viola web browser [4].  Written
in the early 90s, it *barely* compiles on a 32-bit Unix system and while it
may compile on a 64-bit system, it's unrunnable [5].  It has a scripting
language built in, but it is its own scripting language that is quite
annoying to actually use. I've been trying to update the code so it will at
least run on modern systems, and then next, replace the scripting language
with something more reasonable.

  My current Holy Grail piece of software would be Synthesis OS---an
operating system written in assembly (in 1991) that can recompile and
specialize itself on the fly [6]---basically, a program can request and get
custom system calls to use.  And at the time, it ran SunOS binaries faster
than SunOS on the same hardware.  Incredible stuff.

  -spc (Today, Synthesis OS would be considered a JIT OS ... )

[1]	#define bitblt(s,r,d,p,c)	(*((void(*)())0x430d6))(s,r,d,p,c)

	Among other horrors ... 

[2]	Like INRAC.  And sadly, my own blog entry [3] on the language
	contains probably the most information about it on the web today.



[5]	Because integers and pointers will always be 32 bits right?


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