luxlang
The Lux Programming Language

Updated 7 months ago

Introduction

The Lux programming language is a functional language belonging to the Lisp family. It features a flexible and expressive static type-system, and it's meant to run in a variety of different platforms.

Lux is currently in development. Some of the features expected of the language have yet to be added (in particular, more compilers to support more platforms).

Despite this, Lux has already come far enough in its development that it can be used to write a variety of programs that can run on the Java Virtual Machine, the first platform targeted by Lux.

The semantics of Lux are in no way tied to those of the JVM, and as such, Lux should be understood as a universal language; meant to express programs in a way that is as cross-platform as possible, while at the same time able to tap into the richness that each particular platform has got to offer.

Besides the focus on targeting multiple platforms, Lux's design also covers several other important topics in computer science and software engineering.

Lux is committed to the functional style of program design, being a purely-functional programming language, while also adopting eager-evaluation over lazy-evaluation, to promote simpler reasoning over the performance and behavior of programs.

Lux also offers novel features in the area of meta-programming, with first-class types that can be examined and constructed at compile-time, monadic macros with access to the state of the compiler, and a style of macro definition that promotes composition and easy interaction between different macros.

While the richness and variety of what Lux has got to offer is much larger than what can be described in this introduction, hopefully I've already mentioned enough to stimulate the curiosity of those interested in advanced concepts in programming languages and computer science, and those engineers seeking powerful tools for both program design and implementation.

Lux is both a simple and a complex language. It's design allows you to make effective programs with just a small subset of what it has to offer, but the goal of the language is to provide its users with an arsenal of powerful tools to suit their various needs in their projects.

Finally, I must note that Lux is a practical language, meant for day-to-day usage by software engineers, instead of just research and experimentation by academics. It may seem unnecessary to point that out, but both Lisp-like languages and functional languages have earned a reputation for being academic in nature. While Lux's design does involve a lot of advanced ideas in computer science, it's with the intention of turning Lux into a powerful and effective tool for day-to-day software engineering.

It is my hope that within these pages the reader will find both a host of new ideas to enrich his/her perspective on programming, and the promise of great power, should they choose to add Lux to their arsenal of programming languages.

I wish you, my dear reader, good luck on this journey, and much fun!