Cedric has showed us an interesting programming language called Fan, which has a lot of useful features. The ones I liked most are:

  • Familiar Syntax: Java and C# programmers will feel at home with Fan’s curly brace syntax.
  • Concurrency: Tackle concurrency with built-in immutability, message passing, and REST oriented transactional memory.
  • Static and Dynamic Typing: Don’t like the extremes – take the middle of the road.
  • Object Oriented: Everything is an object.
  • Functional: Functions and closures are baked in.

Here are some code chunks, showing its closures syntax:

// find files less than one day old
files := dir.list.findAll |File f->Bool|
{
ááááreturn DateTime.now – f.modified < 1day
}

// print the filenames to stdout
files.each |File f|
{
ááááecho("$f.modified.toLocale: $f.name")
}

I haven’t tried the Fan language a lot yet (I’ll post my comments here when I do it), but I congratulate the Fan authors for being possible to run it on both the JVM and .Net. I agree with Cedric when he said about the possibility to declare constructors with arbitrary names (although they must be prefixed with the new keyword) and invoke it as static methods of the class. From designer of the class point of view, it’s easy to identify the constructor (it’s highlighted by the new keyword), but from the client it’s difficult because there’s no way to differentiate a constructor from a static method call. It’s a bit odd to be able to do that. Just take a look at the code:

// Using an arbitrary name as a constructor
class Person
{
áááánew create(Int age) { this.age = age; }
ááááInt age
}
p = Person.create(20)

Anyway, I think it’s a good work to make the language have both object-oriented and functional constructs and be portable to both the Java VM and the .NET CLR. Good work guys!

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