Re: Factor

Factor: the language, the theory, and the practice.

Speedrun Feedback

Friday, February 4, 2022

Recently, Tomasz Wegrzanowski chose Factor for his 100 Languages Speedrun: Episode 71: Factor and it encouraged us to make some improvements that I wanted to describe.

Many of our users use the Factor environment through the UI developer tools or on the command-line with the listener. Another important use case is being able to eval and run scripts – and this is where much of Tomasz’ criticism was focused.

We now do command-line eval and run scripts with auto-use? enabled. This will be available in the nightly builds and as part of an upcoming 0.99 release.

So this works now:

$ ./factor -e="1 2 + ."

$ cat foo.factor
USE: io
"Hello World" print

$ ./factor foo.factor
Hello World

--- Data stack:

Previously, the first example would error with a “No word named “+” found in current vocabulary search path” and the second example would complain that the “Quotation’s stack effect does not match call site” because the script did not have a ( -- ) stack effect.

I appreciate that some users approach Factor differently than I do, and we love getting feedback. I wish we could solve the name conflict with factor(1), but that is more challenging.

We may adjust this slightly as it just landed last night, and if anyone has further suggestions, please keep them coming!