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Rethinking the Next Heron Release

3 replies on 1 page. Most recent reply: Jul 2, 2005 11:24 PM by Swaroop C H

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Christopher Diggins

Posts: 1215
Nickname: cdiggins
Registered: Feb, 2004

Rethinking the Next Heron Release (View in Weblogs)
Posted: Jul 1, 2005 7:09 PM
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Summary
I have decided to focus my energies on making sure the next version of Heron is a lot more practical. I have decided to put aside some of my more ambitious features and return to the basics of a succesful language: tools, libraries, and ease of use.
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Recently I had intense expsure to an excellent programming language, Scala, which inspired me to turn back to Heron, and breathe new life into it.

Martin Odersky has, in my opinion, been doing so many things right with Scala, and it revealed to me the mistakes I have with regards to Heron. One thing that Scala has, as do other successful languages, is the ability to seamlessly integrate with an existing popular language (in Scala's case, it is Java). In that vein I have decided to make Heron completely compatible with C++, and I have decided to release the next version of Heron with a very large standard library culled from Boost, STLSoft, wxWidgets, and my own OOTL.

I think that by making sure that Heron has a powerful standard library, it could contribute significantly to its success in the future.

The main selling point of the new Heron is going to be structural subtyping (see the BIL for more information on what I mean by this), and Programming with Contract support. After this there will just be a long list of niceties, which amount primarily to syntactic sugar. However, I think syntactic sugar can still be important, after all most of C++ is in fact synactic sugar for C.

The next Heron release may be slightly less arousing to the language hobbyists, but hopefully I will be able to provide programmers with a truly useful tool which enables them to more quickly develop efficient and correct software.

Now would be a great time to put forth features you would like to see in the next Heron.


Swaroop C H

Posts: 10
Nickname: g2swaroop
Registered: Jan, 2004

Re: Rethinking the Next Heron Release Posted: Jul 2, 2005 2:00 AM
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Excellent!

I've not looked at Heron yet (but I've been following your blog) but your proposal of making it compatible with C++ _and_ "very large standard library culled from Boost, STLSoft, wxWidgets, and my own OOT" is excellent. That is the right combination for an underdog language :)

Maybe you can position Heron as a static Python or static Ruby. Heh.

Christopher Diggins

Posts: 1215
Nickname: cdiggins
Registered: Feb, 2004

Re: Rethinking the Next Heron Release Posted: Jul 2, 2005 2:06 PM
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> Excellent!
>
> I've not looked at Heron yet (but I've been following your
> blog) but your proposal of making it compatible with C++
> _and_ "very large standard library culled from Boost,
> STLSoft, wxWidgets, and my own OOT" is excellent. That is
> the right combination for an underdog language :)

Thank you :-)

> Maybe you can position Heron as a static Python or static
> Ruby. Heh.

That sums up my goals very nicely, thanks Swaroop! I hope you won't mind if I quote you at some point in the future?

Swaroop C H

Posts: 10
Nickname: g2swaroop
Registered: Jan, 2004

Re: Rethinking the Next Heron Release Posted: Jul 2, 2005 11:24 PM
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> > Maybe you can position Heron as a static Python or
> static
> > Ruby. Heh.
>
> That sums up my goals very nicely, thanks Swaroop! I hope
> you won't mind if I quote you at some point in the future?

Ha ha, please feel free to do so :)

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