Archive for the ‘Fantom’ Category.

Fantom vs Scala: semicolon inference and something more

As I said in a previous post, even if Scala is at the moment the best candidate to become the Next Big Language, I think that many things in its syntax are Byzantine and error prone. The examples in Klaus' comment are very explanatory in this sense.
In my search of the Holy Graal of the programming languages, I met Fantom (previously known as Fan), a very interesting attempt to create a language simple yet powerful.
First of all, let's have a look at a Fantom version of the semicolon inference example of my previous post. Note that, since I'm an absolute beginner in Fantom programming, the use of the language I made is far from optimal: any suggestion will be appreciated.

class GoodFantom {  

  static Int subtract1(Int a, Int b) {
    a -

  static Int subtract2(Int a, Int b) {
    - b

  static Void main() {
    echo(subtract1(10, 2))      //Prints 8
    echo(subtract2(10, 2))      //Prints 8 too!

The Fantom way to handle statements ending seems pretty good. Anyway, I'm not sure that there are not drawbacks to this approach: again, any suggestion is welcome.
Now let's see how this example of creating a DSL fragment in Scala could be translated in Fantom.
So, let's define a Loop class:

class Loop {
  //Constructor that accepts a function without parameters that returns Void
  new make(|,| body)
    this.body = body

  Void unless(|->Bool| cond)
     if (!cond()) unless(cond)

  |,| body

Then we use it in our code:

using fanExercise::Loop  

class Main
  static Void main()
    Int i := 10
    .unless |->Bool| {i == 0}

We can see that the Fantom version is slightly more verbose than the Scala one (even if, as I said, maybe a good Fantom programmer could do better), but, as the dot is mandatory in method calls, I think it's less error prone.