[plt-scheme] MzScheme: extending vs. embedding to build a text editor

From: Chongkai Zhu (czhu at cs.utah.edu)
Date: Sun Jul 13 20:04:31 EDT 2008

I strongly recommend MzScheme extension. And yes, PLT Scheme can compile 
program to native binary, but I think bytecode + native binary loader is 


Peter Michaux wrote:
> Hi,
> Suppose I wanted to build a text editor like emacs where the use is
> able to extend the editor using MzScheme (rather than emacs-lisp.) It
> seems there are two main ways this could be done.
> -----
> First, I could write MzScheme extensions [1] for ncurses. The editor
> could then be written in Scheme from start to end whatever that means.
> It would certainly be a Scheme-centric implementation. I could then
> edit a file with the command
>   mzscheme myeditor.ss some-file-to-edit.txt
> (The whole program with could be compiled to a native binary somehow?)
> -----
> Second, the opposite way would be to write a very small C application
> and embed MzScheme [2] into that application. I could expose the
> ncurses API by creating and adding ncurses procedures to the embedded
> Scheme environment. The C could then load some "myeditor.ss" file into
> the Scheme environment and the majority of the editor program could be
> defined in Scheme. Since I would be compiling a C program the editor
> could be started with
>   myeditor some-file-to-edit.txt
> -----
> I've toyed with some other extensible/embeddable languages and the
> same problem arises. I'm not sure which way around would be the right
> way to go. I'm interested in what others would do or if there is an
> obvious definite answer I don't know because I am new to MzScheme.
> Thank you,
> Peter
> [1] http://docs.plt-scheme.org/inside/overview.html#(part._.Writing_.Mz.Scheme_.Extensions)
> [2] http://docs.plt-scheme.org/inside/overview.html#(part._embedding)
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