History of Pixley Distribution
While [The Pixley Programming Language] notes the changes, over
time, to the Pixley language itself, this file notes the changes
to this distribution: implementation, documentation,
example programs, and other "goodies".
### 1.0 ###
* Initial distribution, implementing Pixley 1.0.
### 1.1 ###
* Changed implementations to implement Pixley 1.1.
* An enlarged test suite (previously mentioned).
* A REPL (read-eval-print loop, or "interactive mode" interpreter), written
* A statistics generator, written in Scheme, which counts the cons cells,
symbol instances, and unique symbols present in a given s-expression.
This was to measure the complexity of the Pixley interpreter.
* A Mini-Scheme driver. During my adventures in getting programs to run
under AmigaOS 1.3, I compiled Mini-Scheme thereunder, and got Pixley to
run under it by including the Pixley interpreter in Mini-Scheme's
`init.scm` file and invoking it therein. From this I conclude that,
although I have not confirmed this is in a solid way by looking at the
spec or anything, Pixley is also a strict subset of R4RS Scheme.
### 2.0 ###
* Changed implementations to implement Pixley 2.0.
* Bourne Shell scripts to run Pixley programs which are stored in individual
files. `pixley.sh` runs either a self-contained Pixley program from a
single file, or evaluates a Pixley file to a function value and applies it
to an S-expression stored in a second file. `scheme.sh` does the same
thing, but with Scheme, as a sanity-check. By default these scripts use
`plt-r5rs` for the Scheme interpreter, but that can be changed with an
* A P-Normalizer written in Pixley, probably the first non-trivial Pixley
program to be written, aside from the Pixley interpreter itself. P-Normal
Pixley is a simplified version of Pixley where `let*` can only bind one
identifer to one value and `cond` can only make one test, like Scheme's
`if`. This form is described more fully in the
[Falderal literate test suite for the P-Normalizer].
* Test suites, written in [Falderal], for both Pixley and the P-Normalizer.
The original test suite written in Scheme, which runs successively deeper
nested copies of the Pixley interpreter, is still included in the
* A few other standalone Pixley examples, including `reverse.pix`,
which reverses the given list.
### 2.0 revision 2012.0219 ###
* The Bourne shell scripts `pixley.sh` and `scheme.sh` were replaced by a
single script `tower.sh`. The idea behind this script is that it lets
you constuct a "tower of interpreters" from a sequence of text files
which contain S-expressions. The first such S-expression is interpreted
as Scheme, and may evaluate to a function value; the second such will be
interpreted by that function, and may evaluate to another function value,
and so forth, until there is an S-expression that evaluates to something
besides a function value (and that result will be printed to standard
output and `tower.sh` will terminate.)
* `tower.sh` officially supports three implementations of Scheme that can
be used as the base interpreter: `plt-r5rs` from the Racket distribution,
`tinyscheme`, and `miniscm` version 0.85p1 (from our fork of the project
on GitHub.) Support for Scheme implementations is (more or less)
capability-based, so adding support for other implementations should not
be difficult (especially if they are similar to the three already
* The test suite was put into Falderal 0.6 format and now uses `tower.sh`
to run each test case. By default, it uses `plt-r5rs`, but can be told
to use any of the Scheme implementations that `tower.sh` supports.
(Note: there is currently a failure when running one of the tests on a
Pixley interpreter on a Pixley interpreter on `miniscm` that I have yet
to track down.)
* To match the expectations of `tower.sh`, the Pixley self-interpreter was
refactored to evaluate to a function value of one argument. It was also
simplified slightly, removing an unnecessary nested `cond`.
* Various dialects of Pixley have been defined and described, and collected
in the `dialect` directory of the distribution. The dialects include
Pifxley, which supports an `if` construct instead of `cond`; there is a
Pixley interpreter written in Pifxley, and a Pifxley self-interpreter.
There is also a dialect called Crabwell which allows values to be bound
to, not just symbols, but arbitrary S-expressions.
* A bug (a missing case) was fixed in the P-Normalizer.
* The main Pixley documentation (what you're reading now) was converted
to Markdown format.
* Source code in the Pixley distribution was placed under a BSD-style
### 2.0 revision 2013.1024 ###
* Funny story! Remember when I said I was writing writing stuff in C to
compile with DICE C under AmigaOS 1.3, and that what I decided to write
was a Pixley interpreter in C? Well, that implementation of Pixley,
called `mignon`, has finally been included in the Pixley distribution.
* Another implementation of Pixley, this time in Haskell and called `haney`,
has also been included in the Pixley distribution.
* The `tower.sh` script has been refactored, since honestly it was kind of
grody. The abstraction layer which tries to make different implementations
of Scheme behave the same has been split off into `scheme-adapter.sh`,
while the responsibility of `tower.sh` itself is only to build and run the
tower of interpreters. In addition to `plt-r5rs`, Mini-Scheme, and
Tinyscheme, `scheme-adapter.sh` also supports the Husk Scheme interpreter.
Finally, `scheme-adapter.sh` supports `mignon` and `haney` as well; even
though they're not proper Scheme interpreters, they can be used as the
base interpreter for a tower of Pixley interpreters.
* The test suite has been modernized (for whatever "modern" means for
Falderal) and enriched to handle testing these extra implementations.
### 2.0 revision 2015.0101 ###
(This also includes updates from revision 2014.0819 which I neglected to
list here previously.)
which supports Web Workers. As a bonus, it can depict the Pixley program
as a series of nested, coloured rectangles. You can see it online here:
[Pixley installation at Cat's Eye Technologies].
* Wrappers to allow `pixley.scm` to be run under Scheme48 and the CHICKEN
* The test suite tries to find a reasonable Scheme implementation to run
* Syntax for tests updated to Falderal 0.10.
* `with-input-from-file` is an optional R5RS, so change the Scheme programs
to not rely on it.
### 2.0 revision 2015.0723 ###
### 2.0 revision 2017.1110 ###
* Put all example programs as discrete files in the `eg/` directory.
### 2.0 revision 2018.0622 ###
* Split this HISTORY file off from [The Pixley Programming Language].
* Added a `build.seq` which details how to build `mignon` under
AmigaDOS 1.3 using DICE C.
* Added a `launch-pixley.js` file to the pixley.js demo, which is
responsible for creating the UI, instead of coding it in HTML.
[The Pixley Programming Language]: doc/Pixley.markdown
[Falderal literate test suite for the P-Normalizer]: dialect/P-Normal.markdown
[Pixley installation at Cat's Eye Technologies]: http://catseye.tc/ix/Pixley