Saturday, March 18, 2006

IO Language

Someone just linked to me to Io, a language inspired by Smalltalk, Lisp, and Self. What surprised me the most is not that it embodies the concepts of these languages, but the fact that its syntax is clean, crisp, and for the most part, easily readable.

What I've really disliked about these kinds of languages is that their syntax is not something you read; it is something you study. That's always really kind of annoyed me, because I have other things to do than decrypt a language by constantly flipping through a dictionary or keep a cheat-sheet next to the computer.

Io, on the other hand, seems like a refreshing change of pace. Clear, concise. No violent cacophony of paranthesis clawing at the gates. Sweet.

The unfortunate bit is that its another one of those languages that has its own runtime and libraries, which always leads to the problem of there not being a lot of libraries. So not only do you have to learn the language, you have to learn the unique set of libraries available for it. Not really my concept of a good day, since the knowledge really isn't reusable outside this particular library.

I guess that's why I enjoy .NET so much--when I switched from primarily coding in C# to coding in Boo, I only had to learn the unique syntax. The framework library was familiar to me, so once I was down with the syntax everything else just kind of flowed together and became like gel.

Hm. Its almost 4AM and I'm still up. Guess I'm hungry. Hopefully this will be the last errant post tonight.

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