This is a C implementation of the original Macro SIL (SNOBOL4 Implementation
Language) version of SNOBOL4, originally developed at ATT Bell Labs.
SNOBOL4, primarily known as a string processing language, excels at any task
involving symbolic manipulations. The interpreter provides run-time typing,
garbage collection, user defined data types, and on-the-fly sub-interpretation
within a running program. Its primary weakness is a simple syntax, and a lack
of "structured" constructs, although many would consider these to be strengths
when compared to some "modern" and ever-changing agglomerations such as Perl.
While not computationally speedy, it is handy for minimizing development time
and effort when creating data conversion tools. This is because of its data
manipulation functions, associative memory data structures, and an extensive
set of sophisticated built-in string pattern matching primatives.
SNOBOL4 consists of one relatively small executable file, without the scads
of associated libraries and modules that make package management difficult.
Although developed in the early 1960s (the SNOBOL3 primer was published by the
MIT press in 1967), some feel that it is still ahead of its time today. While
it is fully functional and extensively tested, it is no longer evolving, having
reached the desirable stable plateau in any programming language's life cycle.