This is part of a series of posts about writing a simple interpreter for a small Lisp-like language. Please see here for an overview of the series.
Last time we made all symbols readable. Now we’re going to start
working towards a symbol table, and our first step is to define
There’s nothing especially interesting about
equal, so today I’ll mostly refer
equal.c in the repository. For integers, characters, and
symbols1, we can defer to C’s equality operator (
==). For strings, we
first compare their lengths (two strings of different length can’t be equal) and
then defer to C’s
memcmp to compare their contents.
Lists are the most interesting case, because their contents are Sky values. If
the two lists are
nil, they’re equal. If one is
nil and the other isn’t,
they’re not equal. If the
first items of the two lists are not
the lists aren’t equal. Otherwise we repeat the process on the
rest of both
lists until we reach a conclusion.
There are a number of things that would make for a more interesting
like supporting an arbitrary number of arguments, comparing across multiple
sequence types, comparisons involving floating point numbers, etc., but none of
those are relevant for us yet, so we’re getting away with a very simple
Next time we’ll implement a hash function.