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Ceylon milestone 4 adds JavaScript compilation

Elliot Bentley

Latest release is “almost” feature-complete, bringing improvements to both the language and IDE.

been over four months since the
last Ceylon milestone
was released to the world, and this week
saw the release the
fourth milestone of Ceylon and its IDE

The developers describe Milestone 4 – which is nicknamed
‘Analytical Engine’ – as “an almost-complete implementation” of the
language. The next major release will be a feature-complete 1.0
beta, promised in January.

Ceylon is the relatively young new JVM language, developed for
several years in secret at Red Hat by Gavin King and
unveiled to the world
last year. It was immediately dubbed by
the press as
“Red Hat’s Java”
and a “Java killer”, leading King to respond that “Ceylon
isn’t Java, it’s a new language that’s deeply influenced by Java,
designed by people who are unapologetic fans of Java”.

Since then, the team have continued – despite
some scathing criticism
– to work on the language out in the
open, with the source code available on GitHub
under a GPL v2
. New language features added since June include:

The Ceylon IDE has also been updated, now able to compile
JavaScript (to, say, run on an instance of the oh-so-trendy
Node.js), as well as module import completion, a new Repository
Explorer view
and support for Maven repositories. King wrote
on Google+
that his personal favourite feature of M4 is the
ability to “write code in the IDE and run it on both the JVM and
Node.js, right there, right from within Eclipse”.

Milestone 4 also coincides with an update to Ceylon Herd, the
language’s official module repository, which now holds 18 modules –
including a new IO Platform Module, which is claimed to provide
“the ability to read/write to files, sockets, server sockets
synchronously and asynchronously”.

In a
message to the Ceylon development mailing list
, Red Hat
employee and team member Stéphane Épardaud delivered a frank
assessment of recent progress, discussing why M4 took “so long” to
be released and lambasting the performance of the IDE, JVM compiler
and typechecker as “unacceptable”.

However, he added: “I think all the rest we did not just well but
great :)”

Photo by sandra.scherer
(though it’s of a Cylon, not Ceylon).

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