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NEWBIE:: new to Lisp, new to Arc.
4 points by GenArx 1661 days ago | 16 comments
Hello guys. I've been looking for ways to learn Arc on my own but basically it turned out to better join the forum.

I started to like LISP when i first got the interest in AI programming, where i found my way all around programming languages used in AI programming -- one got my attention, LISP.

I've read and read all about LISP since then but never formally started coding and learning the language. Until i found it fitting to my taste to use Racket because it has an IDE, Dr Racket.

I did not go through so much coding in Racket, I simply made myself comfortable of the syntaxes of LISP programming and actually have with me Real Of Racket pdf file.

And then, i searched more of LISP, until i found Arc. This time i got so much attracted to its syntax so called to be shortened. And that amazed me.

So I started to want to install Arc today. BUT, unlike Racket it doesn't have an IDE. I'm only good in using Windows and not so much inclined in command prompts.

I find answers somehow that directs me to github, unfortunately i don't know how to use the files out there. What I ONLY know is instal .exe files and i'm okay byh myself, which is not the case this time. And there's so much of codings and command prompting.

Stil, i want to go through ... i don't know why but i like Arc so much even if it's too obscure to my level.

I wish someone here tell me how to actually program in arc. do i need an IDE to compile and run/test my codes? (which is my only grasp of programming). and can anyone tell me how to use the Arc/Nu ... i don't know how to install it in my Windows... i don't know linux or unix or mac.

If anyone hear me in this dark and cold realm of Arc, please head my calling....

I want to improve Arc when i finally have my best of knowledge in it. Everybody is discouraging me of Arc but i believe it's something extraordinary.

Thanks in advance.

3 points by akkartik 1661 days ago | link

Thanks for asking, GenArx. We've never had good support for Windows since the people here don't use it much, but your heartfelt questions got me to dust off an old Windows machine and try to install Arc on it. I'm going through this process now, and will try to write up better instructions once I succeed. So far I've successfully installed Racket (click on the 'download' link at and Git on Windows (run the installer at Can you do those steps while I figure out what to do next?

Let's keep chatting offline. There might be issues I run into that you know how to deal with, or vice versa. Can you send me an email? My address is on my profile.

Edit 16 minutes later: I've gotten Arc running on Windows. Here are the instructions I followed:

0. Install Racket and Git like above.

1. Open Git Bash from the Windows menu and run this command:

    git clone
2. Open Racket from the Windows menu and run these commands one by one:

    (current-directory (find-system-path 'home-dir))
    (current-directory "anarki")
    (load "boot.scm")
Now you should be at the Arc prompt and ready to try out some programs.

I'm sure there are other issues once I start running programs, but at least the core loaded without errors and I can now help fix other issues as we run into them.


3 points by GenArx 1643 days ago | link

[issue] "I've reformatted my Windows and tried your installations instructions above. When I first followed this instructions it worked out just fin [maybe because of the prior mzscheme installations I've made my own]. This time around I'm following your instructions without first installing my first instruction method, and here's the error:

  tl: undefined;
    cannot reference undefined identifier
        C:\Program Files\Racket\collects\racket\private\misc.rkt:87:7
    tl: undefien

> I've installed racket-6.4-i386-win32 and Git-2.7.4-32-bit

> Running Windows 7 EE 32bit


2 points by rocketnia 1643 days ago | link

Oops, sorry, this is due to the change I made to boot.scm recently:

In the case of these instructions, lnstead of (load "boot.scm"), please use (require "boot.scm") now.


1 point by akkartik 1643 days ago | link

Hmm, not sure what's going on. Is the word 'undefien' in your comment exactly as it appears on the error message?

I assume this happens when you type in the third command (tl)?


2 points by GenArx 1641 days ago | link

Welcome to Racket v6.4.

> (current-directory (find-system-path 'home-dir))

> (current-directory "anarki")

> (require "boot.scm")

> (tl)

Rtl: undefined; cannot reference undefined identifier context...: C:\Program Files\Racket\collects\racket\private\misc.rkt:87:7

> stdin::107: read: unexpected `)'


   C:\Program Files\Racket\collects\racket\private\misc.rkt:87:7


2 points by rocketnia 1641 days ago | link

The error has to do with looking up the variable "Rtl". The "R" probably comes from a bug in Racket's reader where certain things pasted into a Windows terminal window are parsed incorrectly. Where you typed "(tl)", somehow it saw "Rtl)".

In my experience, the bug doesn't occur as long as the text I'm pasting has a newline at the end. Maybe you could try that. That is, instead of just selecting the text you want to copy, select a blank line after it too.

Alternatively, you could type everything by hand instead of pasting... but that sounds pretty painful. Hopefully you don't have to resort to that.

EDIT: I tried to reproduce that pasting issue with Racket 6.4 on Windows 10, and I don't get it anymore. You're using Racket 6.4 too, so are you using a particular version of Windows?


2 points by GenArx 1641 days ago | link

I would want to follow my mzscheme instructions to install arc, but I'll let it pass for now because i want us to solved this Issue.. If I do that your instructions might work but not knowing what's exactly going on without mzscheme, (i think so) :)


2 points by hjek 1658 days ago | link

You might want to give Welder a look.

Welder is an arc IDE bundled with Rainbow (an arc implementation in Java that is complete enough to run News).


2 points by GenArx 1641 days ago | link

I am happy to use this "rainbow", though please show me how to install and use it initially [new to github] thanks in advance :)


2 points by hjek 1607 days ago | link

It's fine being new to stuff. If you try clicking the link, there's installation instructions there:

To download and build rainbow and open a REPL:

   git clone git://
   cd rainbow
   ant           # yes, twice. The second time uses rainbow to generate optimisations of itself
   cd src/arc
   java -server -jar rainbow.jar


2 points by GenArx 1661 days ago | link

for any newbie here like me who never had the experience of linux but Windows... my adventure so far is summarized here. All contents are taken from the forum and all over the places i've been around the web.

A complete and downloadable tutorials on Arc language available at > contains installation files and tutorials with a step-by-step instructions for setup and installation for Windows users. Complete downloading 4 Part Files and then use 7zip to extract and combine them in one single folder called "Arc Learning Compilation from EPSpost"

> these Arc adventures includes arc3.1 / racket // mzscheme


1 point by akkartik 1661 days ago | link

Oh, interesting. I just tried to join that group (since I can't see what you post there otherwise).

Another option is to email me your directions. I think I'd find them very useful.


2 points by GenArx 1661 days ago | link

all the steps above work out just fine.. thank you for the hand Sir. Now , how may i compile sample programs or test if its running ? ^^

I have also uploaded a screenshot of the process at for newbie reference, too.


2 points by GenArx 1661 days ago | link

:) i just gor back here. now trying your steps above Sir. Thank you. As far as i'm concerned i'm also sharing my resources to everyone, Arc deserves a major attention now.


2 points by GenArx 1644 days ago | link

Hello, I have launched a study group at that aims to program Arc language in Arch Linux but not in computers but inside of single board computers [SBC], i.e. ODroid - C2


1 point by GenArx 1644 days ago | link

In this way, we learn Arc in Linux away from Windows machines and fully integrate other fun areas of learning Arch Linux for ARM