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WIP basic tutorial

Macoy Madson 2 years ago
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#+title: Cakelisp tutorial: basics
* Prerequisites
- Experience writing C or C++ programs. If you're just learning how to program, you should a different language rather than Cakelisp for now.
* Setup
First, [[][download Cakelisp]]. You can also clone it through git. The URL is [[]].
Unzip the file, if you downloaded it manually.
* Cakelisp's repository
The following section may be skipped. It serves as a quick introduction to the collection of files you downloaded.
Cakelisp consists of the following major components:
** A collection of C++ files
The core of Cakelisp itself is in the ~src/~ directory.
These files define the functionality of Cakelisp:
- Tokenizer: Turns ~.cake~ text files into arrays of tokens, which is easier to work with
- Evaluator: Uses the arrays of tokens as instructions on how to manipulate the "Environment"
- Generators: Invoked by the evaluator, generators create C/C++ text output
- Writer: Writes generated outputs to C/C++-language text files
- Module manager: Handles the separation of files into modules and performs the high-level procedure
- Build system: Invokes the compiler, linker, and dynamic loader as necessary to build your program
You don't need to know exactly what these do for now.
** Runtime
The ~runtime/~ directory stores ~.cake~ files which provide various features:
- ~CHelpers.cake~ provide various helper macros and generators for writing C/C++ code
- ~CppHelpers.cake~ provide C++-only features
- ~Cakelisp.cake~ makes it possible to run cakelisp while within another cakelisp compile-time phase
...and more. With the C/CPP helpers files, they have any language feature that wasn't essential to include in ~Generators.cpp~ as "built-ins".
** Supplementary things
- ~doc/~ folder contains Cakelisp documentation
- ~tools/~ holds 3rd-party configuration files for making other tools work with Cakelisp
- ~test/~ consists of several ~.cake~ files used to test the language while it is developed
* Preparing your environment
Cakelisp relies on a C++ compiler and linker to perform various things. Your system needs to have a C++ toolchain set up.
- On Windows, download and install [[][Visual Studio]] for best results
- On Linux, your system should already have ~g++~ or ~clang++~ installed
- On Mac, you need ~clang++~
Once these prerequisites are satisfied, do the following:
- Windows: Run ~Build.bat~
- Linux: Run
- Mac: (TODO) Run
If the script fails, please email so he can help you and make this build step more robust.
If they succeed, you now have a working ~cakelisp~ binary in the ~bin/~ directory!
** A note on installs
The language is changing fast enough that I recommend against doing a system-wide installation of ~cakelisp~. If you are using version control, you should check in the entirety of Cakelisp as a submodule so that you always have the compatible version for that project.
* First program