Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 26th Nov 2005 17:02 UTC, submitted by Megatux
Gnome "I followed the debate about a successor for the C/C++ combination as the primary language for developing the GNOME core desktop platform very closely last month. There has been discussion about a number of options. What I would like to do on this page is give an overview how a probably less well-known language might be a viable compromise as a C/C++ successor. This language is called Eiffel and exists for over a decade. Eiffel takes the principle of Object-Oriented programming to its extremes and, as a consequence, is a very easy to learn language."
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The D programming language should be considered.
by on Mon 28th Nov 2005 02:15 UTC

Member since:

http://www.digitalmars.com/d

* Language Bindings: We can't expect that all third-pary applications are coded in the same language, so our solution needs to have the ability to expose it's API's to other languages.

D gives direct access to the C programming language, allowing you to create C, C++, and other language bindings.


* Incremental Transition: The language of the core Gnome components won't be switched overnight. We need a steady transition path.

You can write C code in D if you want to, with a few tweaks.


* Open, community-driven language specification: It's unacceptable that the language is controlled by a single company. The language specification needs to be open and the standardization process needs to be community-driven.

The D programming language is not controlled by a single company, and has a GCC frontend and a healthy community.


* Free compilers available: We can't expect the different Unix-distributions to rely on proprietary compilers. There has to be a free compiler available for the language we choose.

Yes, D has free compilers available for linux, windows, mac, and wherever else gcc can go.


* Free Libraries available: Same arguments as above. The core libraries for our solution need to be free.

Yup, the libraries for D are free.

* Free from politics: Our ideal solution needs to be free from politics. We don't want to loose one of the big supporters of the Gnome desktop platform.

D takes the stance of a religion-free language.


* Development Tools: It would be nice if there's an IDE available for this language.

There are a few, but none are super polished. There is an eclipse plugin, a nice Windows only Elephant IDE. Give it some time, I'm sure one will be around.

* Easy of use: The reason why we're questioning C/C++ is that a higer-level language would result in higher code efficiency. We expect garbage-collection, an easy to use syntax and reusability (less code to write).

D is very easy to use. Any C/C++ programmer should feel right at home.

* Efficiency: The language needs to be efficient. This is the reasen why so much software is still written in C/C++.

Yup, D is more efficient. The equivilent D code is much smaller than either C or C++ versions.

* Portability: The language needs to be portably to different platforms and operating systems.

The language is portable, just like C/C++ are portable. It includes version(Windows/linux/whatever) statements and has compilers available for different platforms.

Reply Score: 0

ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

D looks interesting actually. But how done is it? For example, under their arrays section they say this:
"Note: Array operations are not implemented."
I actually don't even like the idea of array operations, it makes something complex look trivial.

I like that they support the C ABI, and you can turn off the GC for individual objects.

According to wikipedia D is still beta though. So, I'm not saying never, but I prefer something that's finished. Is the wikipedia article out of date?

Reply Parent Score: 1

unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

I agree, D would probably be a better choise than Eiffel.

It is sufficiently similar to C/C++ to be very easy to learn for sombody with C/C++, Java or C# experience, but have many improvements.

Strange that it doen't get mentioned more often when the frequently asked question of what language to replace C in Gnome/Gtk pops up. This is a language to like.

Reply Parent Score: 1