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July 17, 2011

Mac OS X port released!

Red/System Mac OS X port is now completed and on par with Windows and Linux ports. The new Mach-O file emitter supports all current Red/System's features including #syscall and #import directives.

Now that all major 3 OS are supported, I can say that the Mac OS X file ABI and function call ABI are really the most complicated one to support from scratch, the Windows one (PE/COFF) being the simplest (with its own set of oddities, but simpler) and Linux's ELF somewhere in between. Among the issues we had to identify and deal with:
  • Stack alignment on 16 bytes constraint at the point of every library call (meet with the infamous "gate keeper" code causing segfaults and bus errors on misaligned calls)
  • Working around dynamically linked libraries info extraction that need to be copied from each library header to the generated executable image. This could have prevented cross-compilation.
  • The need for direct CALL opcode in the generated IA-32 code instead of indirect ones used for PE and ELF library function callings.

After a lot of efforts spent mostly in debugging, here is the result:





As you can see, it is fully functional and all unit tests are passing!

A couple of notes about usage:
  • The library you declare in #import definition needs to be located in /usr/lib/ or else, you need to provide a full path to the library.
  • The file emitter should support up to 255 imported libraries (Mach-O limit), but it has been tested only with one so far (libc.dylib), so if you have anything odd happening with more than one imported library, please fill a bug report in github's tracker, or post a message to the mailing-list.
Enjoy!

July 4, 2011

Red/System goes beta!

This is a major milestone reached on the Red roadmap. Red/System is now in a beta state, which means that it is good enough, both in design and implementation to be used for building applications.

A huge collective effort has been made by all contributors to reach that state during June, in a single month, we produced:
  • 190 new commits (total = 354 now), more in a month than in the three previous ones!
  • 3600 more unit tests (total = 6230 now)
  • 2800 more LOC (total ~ 6000 LOC now)
  • 70 issues closed on github's tracker
  • 8 more revisions of specification document
This is what can be called an "intense" month of work!

There are still a lot of features that are lurking in the corner for inclusion. Red/System features are not set in stone, the language will evolve to match our needs, as a support tool for building Red. It will now follow a bit more organized release cycle to help users and contributors have a more stable base to work with.

The version number has been bumped to v0.2.0. From now on, only non-disruptive changes will be pushed on the main branch, other changes will go into a separate development branch until we decide to make a new release, merge new features and increment the version number. This cycle should be short, on a weekly basis (each week or two, depending on the development branch content). If this organization does not fit well the development progress, we will adapt to a more adequate one.

I cannot resist to show you the new unit testing output when running the complete tests suite (just run the %tests/run-all.r script):

Quick-Test v0.5.0
REBOL 2.7.6.3.1
Red/System Test Suite

ok - logic.............................76 / 76
ok - integer............................0 / 0
ok - byte..............................40 / 40
ok - c-string..........................20 / 20
ok - struct...........................116 / 116
ok - pointer...........................68 / 68
ok - cast..............................66 / 66
ok - alias.............................22 / 22
ok - length............................11 / 11
ok - null..............................11 / 11
ok - not...............................24 / 24
ok - size..............................36 / 36
ok - function...........................2 / 2
ok - exit...............................9 / 9
ok - return............................24 / 24
ok - modulo............................20 / 20
ok - infix..............................2 / 2
ok - conditional.......................13 / 13
ok - byte-auto.......................3492 / 3492
ok - integer-auto....................2106 / 2106
ok - alias-compile......................3 / 3
ok - cast-compile......................16 / 16
ok - comp-err...........................4 / 4
ok - exit-err...........................3 / 3
ok - int-literals-err...................1 / 1
ok - output.............................3 / 3
ok - return-err.........................5 / 5
ok - conditions-required-err...........23 / 23
ok - inference-err......................1 / 1
ok - callback-err.......................3 / 3
ok - infix-err..........................2 / 2
ok - not................................1 / 1

ok - Red/System Test Suite...........6230 / 6230
in 0:00:16.3

A big thank to all the following contributors who are working hard each day to help me bring Red to life:

Andreas Bolka
Rudolf W.Meijer
Kaj de Vos
Peter W A Wood

Cheers!

EDIT: for those coming here for the first time and willing to test Red/System, please follow the link to Github's repository, you will find some instructions there for getting started.