The clones strike back

Back at Ozone‘s you can find a crash introduction to Io, a relatively new prototype-based language. As explained in its official site:

Io is a small, prototype-based programming language. The ideas in Io are mostly inspired by Smalltalk (all values are objects), Self (prototype-based), NewtonScript (differential inheritance), Act1 (actors and futures for concurrency), LISP (code is a runtime inspectable/modifiable tree) and Lua small, embeddable).

Besides running in all the usual platforms, and some not so usual ones like Symbian and Syllable, it offers an interesting set of libraries including sockets, databases, OpenGL, some crypto APIs or, notably, and Objective-C bridge.

Io’s syntax, if anything, is smalltalkish, and claims to be as simple as it takes: it has no keywords! It also features decent performance, sometimes not much worse that Python’s or Ruby’s.

If you’re interested in prototype-based languages, and want to try something simpler than Slate or newer than Self, Io looks like an option worth considering. Besides, applications like this one seem to point to a relatively mature language.

On a loosely related note, schemers interested in prototypes (like myself) may find Jorgen Schäfer’s Prometheus an excellent way to get acquainted with this fascinating subject, and maybe spend a couple of fun evenings implementing selfish patterns (as explained in the article by Brian Foote that gives name to this post) in Scheme.

Happy cloning!

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4 Responses to “The clones strike back”

  1. bybitsandbytes Says:

    Would’nt JavaScript fall in the same category as a prototype-based language?
    e.g.
    person = new Object()
    person.name = “Tim Scarfe”
    person.height = “6Ft”

    person.run = function() {
    this.state = “running”
    this.speed = “4ms^-1”
    }

  2. chris Says:

    Yes. Javascript is a prototype-based language.

  3. Chrono Cr@cker Says:

    What advantages does IO really offer today? There are so many languages anyways…..

  4. Self awareness « programming musings Says:

    […] I’ve mentioned Self, the flagship of prototype based programming, a couple of times before. Not that i have, right now, much more to say about this very interesting paradigm and this particular implementation, which its creators describe (better than i could) in the following terms: The Self system attempts to integrate intellectual and non-intellectual aspects of programming to create an overall experience. The language semantics, user interface, and implementation each help create this integrated experience. The language semantics embed the programmer in a uniform world of simple ob jects that can be modified without appealing to definitions of abstractions. In a similar way, the graphical interface puts the user into a uniform world of tangible objects that can be directly manipulated and changed without switching modes. The implementation strives to support the world-of-objects illusion by minimizing perceptible pauses and by providing true source-level semantics without sac rificing performance. As a side benefit, it encourages factoring. Although we see areas that fall short of the vision, on the whole, the language, interface, and im plementation conspire so that the Self programmer lives and acts in a consistent and malleable world of objects. (From Programming as an Experience: The Inspiration for Self) […]


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