[racket] Fundamentals

From: Hendrik Boom (hendrik at topoi.pooq.com)
Date: Wed Oct 13 21:24:17 EDT 2010

On Wed, Oct 13, 2010 at 07:41:41PM -0400, Hendrik Boom wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 13, 2010 at 06:29:04PM -0500, Mathew Kurian wrote:
> > Hello everybody,
> > 
> > Recently, I have been trying to understand a bit more about the Racket
> > language itself and today I hit a few questions along the way. So, here they
> > are:
> > 
> > -- Is Racket an interpreted language? If not, how does it convert
> > to machine/binary code?
> Yes, it is often interpreted.  It is also often compiled.  The most 
> efficient implementations contain compilers, unless they have to run in 
> extremely limited storage space.  Some Racket implementations have both 
> interpreters and compilers.  The compile can be used, for example, to 
> compile rthe interpreter.

OK.  After looking things up, I see

  Racket is a language related to Scheme.  Its implementatin is an 
implemetatin of Scheme.  That said, it has a *lot* of extra stuff that 
makes it a more generally useable language.  What I answered above 
applies to the Scheme language in general, not specifically to the 
Racket implemetation.

> > 
> > -- In general computing, how does the random function work? How can computer
> > language ever create random numbers, that would be impossiible?
> It just generates a deterministic sequence of numbers that look pretty 
> random.  There are various statistical tests mathematicians use to look 
> at the sequences.  For a particularly sophisticated randome number 
> generator, look up "Mersenne Twister" on the net.
> > -- How does Racket initiate a string memory allocation? From a bunch of
> > controlled electrical signals to an virtual action, how does Racket achieve
> > this? (I am looking for a generalization of the idea, not too technical.
> > With some direction to start, I can go ahead and google for articles to find
> > for an in-depth analysis.)
> I'm really not sure what this question means.  But storage allocation in 
> Racket is usually done using a process called "Garbage collection".  Go 
> look it up.
> > 
> > Thank you for your help.
> You're welcome. Feel free to ask again.
> -- hendrik
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