[NTLK] Restarting Newton development?!

Steven Frank stevenf at panic.com
Tue Aug 7 12:57:06 EDT 2018

> On Aug 6, 2018, at 10:35 PM, j <thej at shaw.ca> wrote:
> From your descriptions, number 3 sounds like the best place to start from.
> It would give the community an Apple-free version of the Newton where number 2 (backward compatibility) and number 4 (future enhancements & modernization) can be launched from.
> If I understand this correctly, it would also allow a clean NewtonScript implementation that runs on current OSes allowing NewtonScript development and training for this new Newton-like system.

I tend to agree, and for the same reasons.  This route doesn't lead to a 1:1 re-creation of a Newton, but I still think it could be very interesting research.  

It's a gargantuan project no matter where you start, so I tend to look for opportunities to divide-and-conquer.  And that's how I ended up looking around for isolated implementations of both a NewtonScript compiler and interpreter, ideally as simple, portable C/C++ command line tools.  That just seems like the natural starting point for anyone wanting to explore that route.

Walter's "Prota" interpreter sure seems like it would fit the bill for an interpreter, but I don't really have any way of experimenting with it without a compiler.

I'm not aware of a project that is just the compiler piece without a bunch of other stuff.  tntk appears to have been that project, but it crashes on 64-bit.  Matthias has his 64-bit hack version, but it would be nice to have a hack-free 64-bit compiler and interpreter.  I don't know if I'm smart enough to be the one who makes it, but if nothing else, I can try to familiarize myself with the source of those two projects in my spare time.


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