uLisp on the Parallax Propeller?


not sure how interested you might be to port uLisp onto another microcontroller… ? one of the microcontrollers i use and really like is the multicore Parallax Propeller, which comes in 2 generation versions.

i’ve got both, altho i have only one 2nd gen board at the mo, but i have quite a few of the gen 1 boards. the prop1 chip also comes in a DIP version, which is super cheap & easy to make on a tiny breadboard, i made one up to test and it worked first time.

Eric R Smith has made a v small Lisp for it which is bundled with his free FlexProp IDE. short extract of the info =>

"proplisp implements a version of Lisp that is like, but not exactly, Scheme. A lot of useful features are left out. The only data types are numbers, strings (delimited by double quotes), symbols, builtin functions, lambda functions, and of course pairs.

Numbers are only 28 bits (the other 4 bits are used for tag values)."

I can confirm his Lisp runs on the Propeller 1, have not tried compiling & running it on the Prop 2 yet.

interestingly too, the 2nd gen Propeller 2 has a built in Forth interpreter in the boot ROM :)


I’m happy to try porting uLisp to do it. There are two prerequisites:

  • I can get my hands on a board reasonably cheaply.
  • There’s an Arduino core for it.

The P2 Eval board seems to be about £100 on Mouser, which seems a bit expensive, and I can’t find any mention of an Arduino core.


the prop 1 boards are cheap, and as mentioned wiring up the DIP version is v trivial.

there was an arduino port for prop1 but i dont know how far along it got

the cheapest prop 1 board is here


the prop2 is more costly, but it is a much bigger beasty… altho they are planning a new board so all these are now 50% off if you buy direct from parallax

thats the board i have here.

prop2 chip

the minimal circuit for the prop 2 is also v tiny.

but from what i can see though there is no arduino core so far attempted for for the prop2…


there was an arduino port for prop1 but i dont know how far along it got

It doesn’t seem to have progressed very far. Also, from what I can tell from the specifications I don’t think the Propeller 1 has enough RAM for uLisp. 2 Kbytes (as on the ATmega328P) is the absolute minimum.