About Smallrepo

smallrepo hosts an online community for coders to write and share runnable and readable code. Powered by smlvm, all programs compiles and runs right inside the browser. No toolchain downloading, no library installation, no dependency hell.


Our long term goal is to enable programmers to build high-quality software with readable and comprehensible source code.

We believe that in the long run, code comprehensibility is an extremely critical property of a software project. If a program runs slow, but its source code is comprehensible, a talented programmer can read the source code, understands what it does and enhance the program's performance, and over time, the program becomes faster and better. However, if a program's source code is hard to understand, it is then hard for willing programmers to make changes, and over time, the program becomes unmantained and eventually out of date. Comprehensible code lives longer.

To enhance comprehensibility, Lonnie and Zhen started building smallrepo, an online coding community that encourages code reading. On this platform:

By enforcing these simple rules, we hope that the programs on our platform are simpler to understand both at the micro and macro level. And by having more people reading code and more code being read, we hope that we can nurture a positive feedback loop that can dramatically increase code readability.


He "Lonnie" Liu, computer science Ph.D, graduated from University of California, San Diego.

Zhen Li, physics Ph.D, graduated from University of Southern California.