Glossary


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The STEPS project has many names and acronyms associated with it. Here is what they mean (we think):

Albert

Acronym for "Accessible Language-Based Environments of Recursive Theories"
The title of a paper by Ian Piumarta dated 2005-09-30. "Albert" is an alternate name for the COLA project, used in the NSF Proposal

Bunnu

A mock JavaScript running directly on COLA objects

CodeGenerator

An alternative to VPU

Coke

The name is a joke. Compared to Pepsi, Coke is "the real thing", according to 1970's advertisements in the USA
A "tree-based abstraction of computation". It represents the "behavior" side of COLA's structure/behavior duality. Jolt is the implemented prototype of Coke

COLA

Acronym for "Combined Object-Lambda Architecture"
The name is a joke: Coke and Pepsi are brand names of cola
The self-implementing runtime-evolvable system that is the implementation vehicle of the larger STEPS and FoNC projects. It is written primarily by Ian Piumarta. It encompasses Coke and its Jolt prototype, and idst/Pepsi and its id object model. It models the world in terms of two mutually-sustaining abstractions: structure and behavior: "The objects form structures describing behaviour. The described behaviour provides the objects with their implementation."

FoNC

Acronym for "Fundamentals of New Computing"
Also spelled "FONC" or "fonc"
An umbrella project and community for all the language-related STEPS projects, namely COLA, OMeta, and any language projects building on them. The FoNC projects are the most widely-known of the STEPS projects

Gezira

A graphics library originally inspired by the Cairo 2D vector graphics library. Aims to provide comparable functionality and performance, but from a much simpler implementation. Eschews manual optimization in favor of clear, mathematical expression. Developed by Dan Amelang. Name: Gezira is a nice neighborhood in the city of Cairo.

id

The very simple object model underlying the COLA project. It is "the simplest possible model that permits an object to receive a message without introducing any early bound assumptions in the mechanisms"

idc

Acronym for id compiler
The compiler that compiles idst source code into machine code

idst

A Smalltalk-like language and object library built on id. It is sometimes called Pepsi

Inventing Fundamental New Computing Technologies

A project to build a powerful, extensible operating system and authoring tool in 20,000 lines of code. It is being undertaken by VPRI, and funded primarily by a grant from the National Science Foundation. It brings together many ideas from previous systems, notably Squeak, Etoys, Tweak, and Croquet. COLA is the implementation vehicle of this project. This project is more often called "STEPS"

IS

An obsolete name for the COLA project used in the first year progress report.

Jolt

The name is a joke: Jolt is a brand of cola
A language resembling Scheme, but without closures. It is the working prototype of Coke. It exists in several versions. In chronological order, they are: jolt-vpu, jolt, jolt-burg, jolt2, jolt3.

JitBlt

The subject of Dan Amelang's masters thesis. A library for digital image compositing that uses the just-in-time compilation capabilities of jolt to create optimized compositing pipelines.

jolt-burg

"burg" is an acronym for "bottom-up rewrite grammar"
One of the Jolts
Lieberman prototypes
A prototype represents the default behavior for a concept, and new objects can re-use part of the knowledge stored in the prototype by saying how the new object differs from the prototype from Paper by Henry Lieberman

Lessphic

A simplification of Squeak's Morphic graphical framework implemented for Jolt. "A graphical system whose only purpose is to bootstrap the FoNC programming environment." -- "Lessphic: A disposable, light-weight graphical environment for FoNC"

Lively Kernel

A Smalltalk-like environment implemented in Javascript.

LOLA

Acronym for "Late-binding Object-Lambda Architecture"
An obsolete name for the COLA project, coined by Mark Smithfield and used briefly on the mailing list

Ocean

A compiler architecture envisioned by Michael FIG, but now subsumed by and implemented as a series of patches to the COLA project. Also one of the suggested (but not accepted) names for the COLA project, representing a rich software ecosystem.

OMeta

OMeta is a new object-oriented language for pattern matching. It is based on a variant of Parsing Expression Grammars (PEGs) which we have extended to handle arbitrary data types. OMeta's general-purpose pattern matching facilities provide a natural and convenient way for programmers to implement tokenizers, parsers, visitors, and tree transformers, all of which can be extended in interesting ways using familiar object-oriented mechanisms.

PEG

Acronym for "Parsing Expression Grammar"

Pepsi

The name is a joke. Compared to Coke, Pepsi is not "the real thing", according to 1970's advertisements in the USA
In theory, "the universe of simple object models and languages that can be built directly on top of Id". In practice, a synonym for Idst, or the implementation of Idst. It represents the "structure" side of COLA's structure/behavior duality

S-expression

The term S-expression or sexp (S stands for symbolic) refers to a convention for representing semi-structured data in human-readable textual form. S-expressions are probably best known for their use in the Lisp family of programming languages.

STEPS

Short for "STEPS Toward the Reinvention of Programming"
First used as the title of the first year progress report
The shorthand name for the "Inventing Fundamental New Computing Technologies" project.

Toylog

a tiny Prolog engine (less than 100 lines of JavaScript)

VPRI

Acronym for "Viewpoints Research Institute"
A non-profit research organization, co-founded by Alan Kay and Kim Rose. It manages, among other things, the STEPS project and all of its sub-projects, like COLA

VPU

A code generation library that the first version of Jolt used to be portable. It was a non-open-source library written by Ian Piumarta.
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