Tim Jansen's blog

Eek - 10 months later
I started writing the Eek specification 10 months ago and my last summary was written in April '04, so I thought it would be nice to bring it up to date. The Eek specification is not done yet (5 pages left), but I don't expect any major changes. Eek is a strongly-typed, imperative OO-language with many similarities to Java, but enough details to make creating a new language worthwhile. Semantics
  • everything is really an object, even numbers
  • there are no static/class members, every member has an object
  • support for singletons (as static replacement)
  • there are no packages/namespaces, only classes that can be nested
  • there are two kinds of references: those that allow null and those that forbid it
  • there is no separation between properties and fields like in C# or Java, both are the same
  • methods and properties can have Eiffel-like constraints
  • built-in support for a XML-compatible data model called EXML, including literals for nodes and qualified names
  • additional operators to allow EXML processing like the upcoming ECMAScript4XML (E4X) standard
  • more logical control structures: any block can be prefixed by 'if', 'do', 'while' and 'for', and postfixed by 'else', 'until', 'catch' and 'finally'. You can combine a postfix and a prefix
  • String characters are int
  • no number types <32 bits, no unsigned numbers
  • no (native) arrays
  • a 'any' type that is a Object reference, but every method invocation or property access is checked at runtime. It thus behaves like a reference in a weakly typed language
  • factory constructors that look like a regular constructor but act like a factory method
  • virtual constructors that can be overridden
  • support for tuples as return types and in assignments
  • Developer has a choice between checked exceptions, like Java's, and unchecked like C#
  • buzzwords: operator overloading, multi-methods, varargs, delegates, generics, exceptions, enum, foreach (but no C for), co-routines (with yield), closures, events
  • Java-like operators and keywords
  • Python-like indentation for blocks (but without the colon) and statement-separation rules (no semicolons)
  • no 'new' keyword, instantiation looks like C++ auto-allocation
  • no parenthesis for control statements
Extendability Designed to make it easy to extend the language with new features. Possible extensions include a sister language that feels like a dynamic scripting language, based on the 'any' type.


This blog is my dumping ground for thoughts and ideas about Eek. Someday Eek will be a programming language and system, somewhat comparable to Java in scope. It is my attempt to bring sanity to the world of computing.
At least I hope so. Right now it is far from being finished and I can't guarantee that it ever will be. I am still working on the specification, but I won't release anything before I got my first prototype running. The world does not need more vapourware and unusable beta-software. All publicly available information about Eek is contained in this blog. You can find the latest summary here.
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