Rae programming language – feedback appreciated!

I’ve recently started a half serious project of making my own little programming language.

The sort of a “compiler” I have now, is written in C++, and it’s just a little script that outputs (pretty readable) C++ code. It’s a bit like Lazy-C++, except I decided to “fix” the syntax while getting my one source file split into .hpp and .cpp files. So, if you want to see a real compiler, there’s nothing here to see. But, if you want to discuss a good syntax for a modern general purpose, high performance, manual memory managed language, then this is just the place!

So, the premise is that we want to replace C++, because we want a cleaner and nicer, more productive, and a little bit safer syntax.

I’ve tried D, but I didn’t like garbage collection (because it ruins performance when doing real time stuff, no matter what they’ll tell you.) There’s also Amber (a fork of D1), which seems nicer than D2, but I believe still has GC. Go and many other new languages all have garbage collection.

Rust looks promising, but to my eye, it looks a bit foreign and a bit complex. I want a simple language (like D1). But Rust has some very interesting ideas for memory safety and other stuff, that my poor head doesn’t even understand.

I also really like Objective-C features, but the syntax isn’t perfect.

So we want to take the performance of C++, the simplicity of D1, some memory safety ideas from Rust, and run with them. Oh, and for some reason, I’ve always wanted multiple return values in function definitions (somebody once told me MATLAB has them, should check that someday). And here’s a part where we’ll lose half of the audience: I want curly braces, but no semicolons. Ok, I’ll give you optional semicolons, so you’ll feel welcome.

Here’s a HelloWorld.rae, that I am able to compile with the buggy rae_compiler now.

module rae.examples.HelloWorld

class Tester
	func ()logMe()
		log_ln("Hello ")

class HelloWorld

	func ()new()
	func ()free()
	public func
	func (int result) count (int param1, int param2) public
		return(param1 + param2)
        //or you could just do: result = param1 + param2
	int num = 5
	uint num25 = 4
	protected long anotherNumber = 42
	float afloat = 248.52
	double initMeToo
	int azero

	Tester tester /*this is a "reference". 
    Dynamically allocated automatically.
    unless, you specify it as "scope". 
    Then it will be like a value, but you still
    use it as a ref... Huh?*/

	//here's how you use vectors:

	protected vector!(Tester) testers

	func ()createNewTester() public
		Tester atest

	func ()logTesters() public
		for(uint i = 0; i < testers.size(); i++)
			log_ln("from tester: ")

(int) main (string[] args)
	HelloWorld hello; 
    //semicolons are allowed, but not required. 
    //And this is a ref = new that you'll have to .free()
    int val = 5
	int another_zero
	float i_want_to_be_zero

		log_ln("5 + 2 = ")	
		log(hello.count(int param1: hello.num, int param2:2))

		for(uint i = 0; i < 7; i++)


	hello.free //Here we'll free our ref.


Ok, so half the stuff I mentioned earlier are still missing. No multiple return values there, no Rust inspired owning and borrowing of pointers. And no raw C-arrays yet. But we’ll come to those later.

I’ll make some more posts to detail some of those non-working ideas later.

The basic thing in this example is that just like in Java, the built-in-types are used like value types and user defined types (classes) are used as “references”/actually C++ pointers.
The references are automatically allocated when you define them.

Normal references can not be null, so they are more like C++ value types, except they are dynamic (by using vectors/arrays of objects.) I think we might have something like a nullref later.

SomeClass someObject
SomeClass? nullRef

Maybe this will have something to do with owning and borrowing?

Oh, and the multiple return values is going to look like this:

(int ret1, float ret2)doSomething(float param1, float param2, string param3)
        return(int ret1: 5, float ret2: 25.3)

Any comments will be appreciated!


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