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tinypy 64k – now with built in garbage collection

Yay – I got incremental garbage collection added into tinypy. It took a good deal of troubleshooting, but thanks to valgrind (and thanks to the people who pointed me to it) after some work I got all the memory leaks and crashes worked out. This is a nice step forward, since it enabled me to eliminate the libgc dependency.

tinypy is slightly larger than 64k, but I have vague hopes that will be remedied* at some point. In the meantime, I’m going to take a bit of a break from it. On Feb. 23rd, the Ludum Dare community is having a “warm-up” compo, and I shall give tinypy a real try at that point. After that I will probably put out the 1.0 release.

All that said, its been quite a learning experience for me. I learned how to tokenize, parse, generate byte code, build a virtual machine, and do garbage collection. I’m hoping this will make looking at the innards of other languages seem less intimidating in the future.

* if you’re a clever C / python coder and feel like taking a look at the tinypy code and give me ideas on how to compact the code a bit, I’d sure appreciate it. It’s 4k too big right now, and I’d really like to fix that. I’m cool with any suggestions though I won’t implement anything unless it leaves the code just as (if not more) readable. Please examine the README.txt to find out how I calculate the code size first.

svn:// or for the brave. I’ve managed to compile it under mingw32 (Minimalist GCC for windows) as well as using GCC under MacOSX. Perhaps for the 1.0 release I’ll include binaries :)

7 Responses to “tinypy 64k – now with built in garbage collection”

  1. Omar Gómez Says:

    Hi Phill,

    Congrats on your achievement. I’ve been quitely following your work on this 64k implementation of Python VM. For some time now I wanted to do the same for the also beatifull language Io ( Have you any plans to document a detailed history of your experience designing tinypy 64k?. Some of us out here would benefit for your experience.


  2. Dave Says:

    Looks like you have enjoyed the process. I have enjoyed reading about it. I love the banners ate the top of your site.

  3. philhassey Says:

    Omar – I think you’ve been reading it :) Though I’d be glad to answer any questions about stuff I haven’t talked about… Good luck with your project!

  4. A.B.Leal Says:

    Congratulations, this looks fun.

    I’ve looked at the zip. I cannot compile (no SDL),
    but to reduce size you may want to play with these,
    if you have not already:

    a) Use “gcc -Os” instead of “gcc -O2″. Perhaps it will
    not affect performance significantly.

    b) Strip the binary (“strip tinypy”). Goodbye debug 😉

    c) Check strings in the binary (“strings tinypy”).
    You may want to make some global to avoid repeats
    (I don’t know if gcc is smart about that).

  5. philhassey Says:

    Leal – thanks. I’m actually trying to reduce the code size, not the binary size though :)

  6. A.B.Leal Says:

    > I’m actually trying to reduce the code size, not the binary size

    Duh (smacking forehead), the _source_ code – yeah, that’s
    what it says in the and NOTES.txt that I speed-read …
    (was also wondering how all the linked stuff was going to fit).
    My apologies.

    Well, what about changing the motto to
    “Tinypy – around Python in 80k” ?


  7. philhassey Says:

    That doesn’t have quite as nice a ring to it .. and it’s nice to have the code be so short that anyone can read through it all in a couple hours. Though at this point, I’m not sure I can trim it down much …

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