Thursday, June 17, 2010

Some more notes on Newspeak

While Bracha does nothing but diss type systems in his talk on Newspeak, he's actually working on optional type systems (see Gilad is Right on LtU).

He says that type systems should be purely optional (can I getta yes please), and mustn't interfere with the runtime semantics of the language (he gives Java's evil overloading as an example). But he doesn't seem to know Cecil or Diesel, both of which already do this (and with interesting type systems). Anyway, I think that optional type systems are clearly the future (of Lisp-like languages).

A second, mildly interesting thing is mirror-based reflection. Instead of being able to call getClass() on any object, you need a special capability that can then be used to reflect upon the metaobjects. Which sounds agreeable, if somewhat software-engineerey (OMG these evil, unwashed other programmers will reflect on my private objects).

Finally, his demo again shows the failure of the antiquated image-based paradigm, or so it seems to me. Yes, he can produce a 12KB object file, but to actually run it, it needs the 7MB development environment. I can only chant, destroy the one true Lisp world, long live the multiverse!


fogus said...

Qi also supports optional static typing with mechanisms for type skinning. Very very cool stuff.

Manuel Simoni said...

Interesting. Thanks for the tip. Qi's documentation seems to have improved a lot since the last time I looked.