Red Hat's JVM language taking shape

Ceylon latest: Milestone 3 nears, OpenShift links underway

Chris Mayer

Ceylon continues to motor towards its first full release, with M3 nearing and other important strides made.

It’s been one busy year for Red Hat’s fledgling JVM language

and its creator Gavin King took stock of the past 12
months in a blogpost, just
to show how far the project had come and what lies ahead for it in
the immediate future.

The last milestone for Ceylon was M2 Minitel back in March,
which dealt with most, if not all, the Java interoperability and a
lot has happened since then. Firstly, the work towards M3, which
will bring a lot of higher-order functions (curried
functions, anonymous functions, inline functions in named argument
lists, and indirect invocations) into the mix, as well as
integrating the JavaScript backend into the

We can expect all this in mid-June, with King saying that the
team’s focus now shifts towards the Ceylon SDK, where a lot of work
lies ahead. Preview modules for ceylon.math, and
ceylon.fs will all appear in Ceylon Herd - the
recently-launched and aptly-named module repository which aims to
be a one shop stop for all of Ceylon’s modules. The idea behind the
repository was to take the best of existing repositories
(Perl’s CPAN, Ruby’s Gems, Maven’s Nexus, and
modules) but give it a
nice coat of gloss to make it easy to use, not forgetting the
social aspect of GitHub. It’s worth checking out this blogpost,
dissecting all of the features in Ceylon Herd – impressive given
how little time has passed.

The SDK is currently in its infancy but we can expect it to
blossom in time as the language itself is fleshed out further. King
also revealed work had started into integrating Ceylon in Red Hat’s
open source cloud platform, OpenShift, which makes
sense given that Red Hat is at the heart of both. OpenShift is
currently riding on the crest of a wave in the PaaS world, and one
more language string to its bow can’t be a bad thing.

Consequently from all this, the Ceylon IDE has taken a backseat,
but with good reason. The plan now is to have a simultaneous
release of a Ceylon IDE compatible with M3, taking into account all
of its features. These include the automatic fetching of Ceylon
Herd modules, the ability to call Java binaries from Ceylon and
being able to inter-compile Ceylon and Java in any given Eclipse
project. Not bad, not bad at all. We’ll let the missed deadline
slide for the greater good.

For the future, node.js support is being touted. So, we can
conclude that Ceylon is indeed active and alive and well. Red Hat
seems to be giving the team free reign to create the language they
want to create, but also are once again very keen to see it
flourish on the JVM. The last year was busy enough for King and his
compatriots, the next 12 months might just get even busier.

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