Viuact language implementation
Merge v2 to the development branch, making it semi-official
A little bit of work on switch an environment
Fix example programs in cc's built-in help



You can also use your local clone with git send-email.

#Viuact programming language

High-level programming language for Viua virtual machine.

Viuact has a Lisp-inspired syntax and strong, dynamic typing. Some features of the language include:

  • nested functions and closures
  • tail calls
  • actor-based concurrency (inherited from Viua VM)
  • message passing as means of communication between actors
  • module system

#Hello, World!

This is how you write the canonical program:

(let main () (print "Hello, World!"))

Save this code to a file (vim), compile (viuact cc), assemble and link (viuact opt), and execute (viua-vm):

$ vim hello.lisp
$ viuact cc --mode exec hello.lisp
$ viuatc opt build/_default/hello.asm
$ viua-vm build/_default/hello.bc
Hello, World!


Here's how to get Viuact installed on your machine:

$ git clone --branch devel https://git.sr.ht/~maelkum/viuact
$ cd viuact
$ make PREFIX=~/.local install

Execute the following command to confirm Viuact compiler is installed correctly:

$ viuact --version

If you do not have Viua VM installed on your system you can use viuact(1) tools to do it for you. Execute the following commands to create a semi-isolated environment with Viua VM installed:

$ viuact switch init
$ viuact switch create vm

#Activating the switch

This will fetch the most recent Viua VM code, compile it, and install in "switch prefix". Then, you can set the switch as the default one:

$ viuact switch to --set vm

Now, whenever you want to activate the switch to make use of Viuact and Viua VM installed in its environment use the following commands:

$ `viuact switch to vm`

The backticks are imporant - they make your shell interpret the output. Remove them to see what the switch-to command does.

#Additional goodies for ZSH

If you have ZSH as your shell, add this near the end of your ~/.zshrc:

. ~/.local/viuact/switch/init/init.zsh \
    >/dev/null 2>/dev/null || true

This will enable command completion for viuact(1) tools.

#Brief introduction

Let-bindings are used to define functions and variables:

(let main () {
    (let x "Hello, World!")
    (print x)

Functions and variables are pretty much the same: let-bindings bind values to names. Functions are just parametrised expressions whose evaluation is delayed until they are called, but they too ultimately produce a value.

Let-bindings always bind a name to a single expression. An expression can be a simple one (e.g. 42 or (print "Hello, World!")) or a compound one. Compound expressions are enclosed in braces ({ ... }) which may contain one or more expressions (which can be simple or compound, there is no restriction on nesting them).

Functions are called by enclosing their name and arguments in parentheses, like this: (print x).

The "return value" of the compound expression is the value of the last expression in the body of the compound expression. It is 0 in the example above.

Conditional expressions are used to make decisions:

(let main () {
    (let x (get_answer_to "What is the meaning of life?"))
    (let correct_answer 42)
    (let exit_code (if (= x correct_answer)
            (print "Wow, how did you know?")
            (print "Nope, that's not it.")

Results of conditional expressions are values so "ifs" can be used everywhere an expression can be used, e.g. in let-bindings.

#Full introduction

A not-so-brief introduction to teh language is available in docs directory, see the specification.


Viuact compiler (and Viuact source code examples) is Free Software. It is published under GNU GPL v3.