New Programming Language, "D" : Combination of Speed of C++ and Simplicity of Modern Language


The Power of x480
Staff member
Before you dismiss this language as "just another language" I recommend to give the article a read. It sounds promising.
Also, I created this article in "Programming" section rather than in News section, because of obvious reason.

Link: The Next Big Programming Language You?ve Never Heard Of | Enterprise | WIRED

Some quotes from the article:

People are constantly creating new programming languages, but because the software world is already saturated with so many if them, the new ones rarely get used by more than a handful of coders—especially if they’re built by an ex-Symantec engineer without the backing of a big-name outfit. But Bright’s new language, known as D, was much further along than the one Alexandrescu was working on, dubbed Enki, and Bright said they’d both be better off if Alexandrescu dumped Enki and rolled his ideas into D...

The result is a programming language that just might defy the odds...

Today, Alexandrescu is a research scientist at Facebook, where he and a team of coders are using D to refashion small parts of the company’s massive operation....

C++ is an extremely fast language—meaning software built with it runs at high speed—and it provides great control over your code. But it’s not as easy to use as languages like Python, Ruby, and PHP. In other words, it doesn’t let coders build software as quickly. D seeks to bridge that gap, offering the performance of C++ while making things more convenient for programmers.

Among the giants of tech, this is an increasingly common goal. Google’s Go programming language aims for a similar balance of power and simplicity, as does the Swift language that Apple recently unveiled. In the past, the programming world was split in two: the fast languages and the simpler modern languages. But now, these two worlds are coming together. “D is similar to C++, but better,” says Brad Anderson, a longtime C++ programmer from Utah who has been using D as well. “It’s high performance, but it’s expressive. You can get a lot done without very much code.”

But Alexandrescu will also tell you that programmers can use D to build anything, including the front-end of a web service. The language is so simple, he says, you can even use it for quick-and-dirty programming scripts. “You want to write a 50-line script? Sure, go for it.” This is what Bright strove for—a language suitable for all situations. Today, he says, people so often build their online services with multiple languages—a simpler language for the front and a more powerful language for the back. The goal should be a single language that does it all. “Having a single language suitable for both the front and the back would be a lot more productive for programmers,” Bright says. “D aims to be that language.”

For Facebook, this is still a research project. But the company has hosted the past two D conferences—most recently in May—and together with various Facebook colleagues, Alexandrescu has used D to rebuild two select pieces of Facebook software. They rebuilt the Facebook “linter,” known as Flint, a means of identifying errors in other Facebook software, and they fashioned a new Facebook “preprocessor,” dubbed Warp, which helps generate the company’s core code.

In both cases, D replaced C++. That, at least for the moment, is where the language shines the most. When Bright first started the language, he called it Mars, but the community that sprung up around the language called it D, because they saw it as the successor to C++. “D became the nickname,” Bright says. “And the nickname stuck.”

For coder Brad Anderson, the main appeal is that D feels like interpreted languages such as Ruby and PHP. “It results in code that’s more compact,” he says. “You’re not writing boilerplate as much. You’re not writing as much stuff you’re obligated to write in other languages.” It’s less “verbose” than C++ and Java.

Yes, like C++ and Java, D is a compiled language, meaning that you must take time to transform it into executable software before running it. Unlike with interpreted languages, you can’t run your code as soon as you write it. But it compiles unusually quickly. Bright—who worked on C++, Java, and Javascript compilers at Symantec and Sun Microsystems—says this was a primary goal. “When your compiler runs fast,” he says, “it transforms the way your write code.” It lets you see the results much faster.

The article is worth a read.
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