Lambda the Ultimate

inactiveTopic Cyclone 0.4 released
started 1/1/2003; 8:31:47 PM - last post 1/1/2003; 8:31:47 PM
Michael Vanier - Cyclone 0.4 released  blueArrow
1/1/2003; 8:31:47 PM (reads: 893, responses: 0)
Cyclone 0.4 released
Version 0.4 of the Cyclone language has just been released. Cyclone is an attempt to build a language which has all the low-level features of C while simultaneously being completely safe (no memory corruption, buffer overflows, memory leaks, etc.). It's a really nice idea; they even use conservative GC. The price you pay is a loss of efficiency (predictably) and a much more complex pointer model (there are a whole slew of different kinds of pointer types, e.g. pointers that you can do arithmetic on, pointers you can't do arithmetic on, pointers that can never be NULL, pointers that come from a particular region of memory, etc. etc.). The idea is that it shouldn't be too much work to port C programs to Cyclone, but in practice it's probably non-trivial. There are also a bunch of other features e.g. exception handling and ML-style unions.

I think that low-level languages are necessary for some tasks, and therefore there is a distinct need for this kind of language. If the compiler were set up so that the safety checks could be turned off, then this could become a formidable competitor to C (compile with checks on for safety, and with checks off for speed). Even with checks enabled, the compiler is usually able to do no worse than 2x slower than C.
Posted to general by Michael Vanier on 1/1/03; 8:33:14 PM