Saturday, 15 December 2012

Vala #1: Introduction

Ever heard of the Vala programming language?

Its an new object-oriented programming language that has recently become very popular. It is based on C with a syntax similar to C#. It provides many high-level language contructs which are missing in a low-level language like C. It provides properties, generics, memory management, foreach loops, and a host of other features that, till now, was available only to C# developers.

So whats the big deal you ask?

There is no lack of programming languages these days. A new language gets invented every other day and it becomes impossible for any developer to keep track of them all. At the surface Vala looks like just another programming language, one that models the syntax of an existing language (C#) while trying to provide features missing in another (C).

What's different about Vala is how it compiles the source code.

When it comes to compilation, Vala does something wonderfully different. The Vala source code is first translated to the equivalent C code, and then the resulting C code is compiled to an executable file using the standard C compiler.

The net result? - A native executable file that doesn't depend on anything other that the C runtime. It doesn't depend on any framework or interpreter. The code can be compiled and run on any system which has a C compiler to produce a native executable. It nearly as fast as a program written in pure C code and many times faster than a program which is interpreted or executed by a runtime (C#, etc).

Whether you are someone who works with C/C++ code or someone who works with C# and .NET languages, Vala is something you need to take a look at.

Hit the link below for an excellent tutorial:
Vala Tutorial at GNOME Live