Roads Less Taken

A blend of programming, boats and life.

Ni Design Decisions!

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So… my little Ni language got some attention since it was first on Hackernews, then TheRegister, all over Twitter and also Reddit.

But I think it managed to come relatively unscathed out of it, although it REALLY is pre-alpha-not-even-complete-eats-your-harddrive early and you know, I really have no idea if it ever will go the distance since it takes quite a bit of work to get a language to actually be used. But I am going to stick with it.

Anyway, I have been experimenting with “arg words” and “lookup scoping” while thinking about how to add objects, and a few other things. This article doesn’t introduce how I want to do objects, but the next one does (I split it in two). This article however covers a bunch of loose ends and my ideas on how to tackle them in Ni. And I will try to make this understandable even if you don’t know Ni. ;)

Guts of Ni

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This article describes some core parts of the current implementation of the Ni (now known as Spry) language. It’s not a tutorial, introduction or manual. It’s in fact kinda incoherent - but so is Ni :)

Who Says Ni?

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Ni is my own little language heavily influenced by Smalltalk but also other sources like Rebol, Forth, Lisp, Self and Nim. Ni is a bit strange, but it’s not academic and really meant to become something useful.

So put on your helmet and let me take you to the shrubbery…

Nim and Super

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As I described in the earlier posts Nim didn’t support “super calls” when using methods instead of statically bound procs and generics. My article caused a little bit of discussion around this on IRC and Andreas decided to implement the mechanism he already had planned - but had not fully decided a good name for.

The other day Nim 0.11.2 was released and it includes this mechanism. Let’s have a look how it works in my sample code…

Nim

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Having been a die hard Smalltalker since 1994 I have finally found a new language and community that I am investing myself in. All the Ruby, Python, various JVM languages, C# and Mono etc - none has managed to capture my interest. Ruby and Python always felt like pale shadows of Smalltalk and I really don’t want to be tied to the Java eco system, no matter what. And so on and on, lots of languages looking interesting but not being able to withstand my deeper look. As a Smalltalker I probably have acquired a particular taste.

Since a few months I am however deeply into Nim. I have written a slew of articles about Nim, and at our company we have decided to bet hard on it. So far I have written a little utility called blimp in Nim, and I have helped creating Urhonimo - the Nim wrapper of the Urho3D game engine.

With a deeper understanding of Nim, although I am far from good at it, what is it that makes me recommend you to try it?