Welcome to issue 11 of the Chicken Gazette, live from the Netherlands!
1. The Hatching Farm
Kon Lovett released a few new versions of his eggs this week:
- srfi-27 version 3.2.1 fixes a Windows compatibility problem;
- srfi-19 version 3.1.1 fixes a few locale bundles and adds bundles for German (thanks to Moritz Heidkamp) and Italian (thanks to Derrell Piper);
- timed-resource version 1.0.1 improves error signalling.
Our new contributor Alan Post has created another two eggs to further develop the foundations of Lojbanistan: jbogenturfa'i, a parser for the Lojban language based on his recently contributed genturfa'i packrat parser as well as kiksispe'i, an implementation of the game "Where Are Your Keys?" for Lojban. Both eggs are yet to be implemented though.
Moritz Heidkamp released version 0.0.4 of the zmq egg in which a few critical problems which could lead to memory leaks and race conditions were fixed. Based on that, he contributed a new egg named remote-mailbox-threads which adds the ability to send messages to mailbox-threads via ZeroMQ sockets (e.g. TCP, named pipes etc.).
As you may have read on our mailing lists, a small team of chicken enthusiasts has been present at T-DOSE, a small and nice convention of open source activists in Eindhoven, NL.
We spent the weekend there answering questions about Chicken Scheme, Scheme, Lisp And Lisp-like languages in general. There we covered the full range from novice to detailed technical questions. All in all it was a great opportunity to tell the Chicken Story.
Some evidence has been put in the gallery.
In addition to that Peter and Christian created a small leaflet providing an overview of Chicken Scheme. You are invited to reuse this for your local user groups! We would like to thank Conrad Barski for the kind permission to use his drawings for that.
3. Chicken Talk
Matthew Welland asked for people interested in writing an extension to the clutter gui library. As Ivan Raikov and Felix Winkelmann point out adding a different backend to fps would be another interesting way to scratch this often felt itch.
4. Omelette Recipes
Today we would like to present to you the handy autocompile egg. It pretty much does what the name indicates: Compile your programs automatically. This is useful for helper programs and little scripts since you don't have to bother calling csc yourself or even create a Makefile but still get the improved performance of a compiled program (except for the first run) and, as a bonus, you can use the FFI. On top of that, it's super easy to use: The egg installs a program named chicken-scheme which you use instead of csi. For example:
((foreign-lambda int printf c-string) (string-append (car (command-line-args)) "\n"))
Now run it like this:
chicken-scheme printf.scm hello
And it will print hello. What happened now is that chicken-scheme compiles the program to a file in a cache directory inside your $HOME by default (run chicken-scheme -cache to get the actual path that is used). The file's name will be a checksum of the program source which is calculated before every run, so subsequent runs will re-use the existing binary in the cache directory. If the source has changed, it will just re-compile it. Note that it doesn't remove old cached versions so be sure to have an eye on that directory. To clean the cache run chicken-scheme -purge.
There are a few environment variables which influence chicken-scheme's behavior. See the egg documentation for details.
So go ahead, install autocompile right away and start using it in your shebang lines!
5. About the Chicken Gazette
The Gazette is produced weekly by a volunteer from the Chicken community. The latest issue can be found at http://gazette.call-cc.org or you can follow it in your feed reader at http://gazette.call-cc.org/feed.atom. If you'd like to write an issue, check out the instructions and come and find us in #chicken on Freenode!