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5.7 An Overview of Guile Programming

Guile is designed as an extension language interpreter that is straightforward to integrate with applications written in C (and C++). The big win here for the application developer is that Guile integration, as the Guile web page says, “lowers your project’s hacktivation energy.” Lowering the hacktivation energy means that you, as the application developer, and your users, reap the benefits that flow from being able to extend the application in a high level extension language rather than in plain old C.

In abstract terms, it’s difficult to explain what this really means and what the integration process involves, so instead let’s begin by jumping straight into an example of how you might integrate Guile into an existing program, and what you could expect to gain by so doing. With that example under our belts, we’ll then return to a more general analysis of the arguments involved and the range of programming options available.