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Heron-Centric: Ruminations of a Language Designer
So what's HeronScript?
by Christopher Diggins
August 25, 2005
Here, I describe an interpreted subset of Heron called HeronScript and I talk a bit about my short and long term plans.


As readers of this blog may or may not know the primary tool for Heron I am developing is HeronFront, a Heron to C++ translator. HeronFront is still a long-away from being a stable and easy to use tool. I plan on releasing the code and binaries for Heron in September as promised, but I won't be providing much support. It will be an experimental version (Pre-Alpha I guess is the correct term?). However I am using HeronFront to develop a HeronScript interpreter. This interpreter is written in a mix of C++ and Heron, and is actually quite trivial because of the dynamic functionality inherent in Heron.

HeronScript is a dynamically typed subset of Heron. Even though Heron is for the most part statically typed, it still supports dynamic querying and invocation of methods. This means you can have relatively seamless integration between Heron and a HeronScript interpreter (which will be part of the standard library).

This in of itself is perhaps unexciting except for the fact that Heron itself is a statically and strongly typed compiled language. Try to imagine if C++ had the functionality of a dynamic language, and it should give you a rough idea of what I am trying to do here.

The short-term plan is to release and promote HeronScript, and then write a programming tutorial for beginners. The long range plan is much more ambitious. I hope that ultimately Heron will be an attractive language for people who need the efficiency of a statically compiled language and the ease of development of a dynamic language.

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About the Blogger

Christopher Diggins is a software developer and freelance writer. Christopher loves programming, but is eternally frustrated by the shortcomings of modern programming languages. As would any reasonable person in his shoes, he decided to quit his day job to write his own ( ). Christopher is the co-author of the C++ Cookbook from O'Reilly. Christopher can be reached through his home page at

This weblog entry is Copyright © 2005 Christopher Diggins. All rights reserved.

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