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PNS11
PNS11

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Building Factor language without X/GUI

Over the last weeks I've procrastinated with stack languages more than usual and dabbled a little in a practical one called Factor. It has a lot of batteries included but no fluff and some edges are as sharp as a you know what, then again, it is very powerful, at least in the way Paul Graham meant in this well known essay and others.

Ran into this issue when trying to run the prebuilt binary for the Factor language on a headless Debian server. Basically it expects to find a shared GTK library where there isn't any since neither X nor GTK is installed in this type of environment. One could place a file with the same name in one's PATH as a workaround but it seemed a little too ugly even for my taste.

Following the recommendation to

git clone git://factorcode.org/git/factor.git
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I then added 'NO_UI=1' to './build.sh', basically right after the hashbang. Without any other changes to the script I ran

./build.sh update
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and it compiles as well as runs as a CLI interface on the first try.

After having done some experimenting with this Forth-like tool I'm quite impressed, if you're tired of the sluggishness and ad hoc qualities of Python, come to the dark and stack oriented side where programming is concatenative, strange and powerful. The standard libraries and FFI are quite good and seem to be well enough for exploratory and dynamic programming in almost all the common domains, from systems to applications and web.

Happy hacking!

Stagling@Patreon

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