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Attila is an abstract, re-targetable threaded interpreter, developed as a personal project and an experiment in language design and cross-compilation.

Threaded interpreted languages (TILs)  provide a different view of language implementation to that traditionally used. I’ve written in the past about using such systems (typically known as Forth systems because Forth is the most widespread TIL) for use with sensor networks and as a possible platform for extensible virtual machines. Exploring either of these ideas requires access to the TIL that’s easily modified and easily targeted at a range of platforms. Existing open-source systems like GForth, while extremely powerful, are also rather too large and complex for the task.

Attila is an ab initio implementation of a TIL that’s intended form the start to be simple to port and cross-compile. It includes all the usual Forth features and words, the ability to define new primitives in C, and a cross-compiler able to build the system from a bootstrap and cross-compile it onto other target platforms.