The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Generative text in guile

I'm amazed at how quickly I was able to cobble up a generative text program in Lisp. Well, Scheme. Technically guile, the GNU version of Scheme. I didn't bother with parsing the existing datafiles—instead I did the “arrays of strings and a slew of code (actually, very little) to sling the pieces together, but it was darned near trivial. The entire program, sans array declarations, comes down to:

(define rndstate 0)
(define refn     array-ref) ;; return an element from an array

(define (main args)
        (set! rndstate (seed->random-state (current-time)))
        (display (racter))
        (display "\n\n")
        (exit 0)

;; return the size of an array
(define (nref a) (car (array-dimensions a)))

;; return a random element from an array
(define (ref a)  (array-ref a (random (nref a) rndstate)))

;; sling those strings
(define (racter)
  (eval (cons 'string-append (array->list (ref default-template)))

The code itself is mostly array declarations (and this particular bit of code is a translation from Games Ataris Play—hey, it was a couple of bucks from a used book store) with this bit of code at the bottom.

There are some features I want to add to this, but they shouldn't take all that much code. Once I get this working how I want it, it should be pretty straightforward to convert the existing datafiles I have into LispSchemeguile.

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