GALs may be obsolete technology, but they're still readily available, and are dirt cheap. For a hobbyist like myself, they're ideal for small projects that need something a little faster than a low cost microcontroller. But the catch is, programmers are expensive. The cheapest I can find is an unbranded device supplied by a chinese vendor and which costs over £30.
Unfortunately, the datasheets don't help. Lattice's datasheet for the GAL16V8 I plan to use just says there are commercial approved programmers available, and doesn't give any indication how those programmers actually work.
There are hobbyist designs available. There are a lot of recommendations out there for GALblast ... but GALblast has a few issues, not least of which is that it's designed to run from a PC with a parallel port (none of my current PCs have one any more), there doesn't seem to be a schematic available (just a PCB layout and assembly instructions), and the software designed to control it is a 16-bit Windows program (which won't run on my 64-bit system).
What other alternatives do I have? I'm happy to put together a system with a microcontroller and appropriate voltage converters (I presume that like 80s era EPROMs a GAL is programmed using a 12V supply? Even that isn't clear from the datasheets...), but I can't find any useful information how to actually perform the programming.
Doing a bit more searching, I found this project, which still depends on a parallel port and 16-bit software, but is at least better documented than GALblast, and more recent too, so it seems more likely that the designer will respond to questions about it. The name of that designer seems familiar too...