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Gnusto is a Z-machine implementation in JavaScript.

Unlike most implementations of the Z-machine, Gnusto is a compiler rather than an interpreter. It works by compiling Z-machine code into JavaScript the first time a routine is needed; then that time, and on subsequent executions, the JavaScript is simply executed. This means that Gnusto runs faster than might otherwise be expected.

Gnusto was first written in 2002 by Thomas Thurman and Eric Liga. It began life executing on a web page. The frustrations of early browser JavaScript implementations soon became apparent, and Gnusto moved to become a Mozilla (and later Firefox) extension. By 2005, changes in Mozilla were making maintenance difficult, and the project was abandoned, only to be picked up in 2008 by Atul Varma and turned once again into a web-based environment, named Parchment. In 2009, Dannii Willis put in the work to split Gnusto development from Parchment development so that the engine could be worked on separately, and continues to maintain the engine as a separate system. Major contributions have also been made to Gnusto by Fredrik Ramsberg and Andrew Plotkin.

Thomas is planning a fairly major documentation effort in the near future.

External links