[linux-audio-dev] [OT] Language fanboys [was Re: light C++ set for WAV]

Albert Graef Dr.Graef at t-online.de
Fri Jul 21 09:50:33 UTC 2006

Stephen Sinclair wrote:
> Does anyone know any interesting and powerful languages that can be
> used just like C? That can link to C libraries, and can be compiled to
> native machine code, and can express the same low-level concepts as C,
> but in a more powerful and intuitive way? In short, does anyone know
> any languages other than C and C++ that would be interesting for audio
> programming?

As SuperCollider and ChucK show, being interpreted and dynamically typed 
doesn't preclude lowlat realtime audio work. I'd also like to mention my 
own brainchild Q (http://q-lang.sf.net), a general-purpose functional 
programming language which interfaces nicely to MidiShare, Faust and 
(via OSC) SuperCollider and is certainly usable for doing soft realtime 
stuff for audio and computer music applications.

> I have often wondered what I might do if I tried to design such a
> language, but I think it's just too big a task.

You can bet on that. :) Faust, ChucK and SuperCollider are all 
domain-specific languages which makes the task somewhat simpler. There's 
no doubt that creating a very-high-level language, which supports *both* 
lowlat signal processing and general-purpose programming equally well, 
will be a major undertaking which still needs a considerable amount of 
research. One might argue that modern-style FPLs like Ocaml and Haskell 
are almost there, but AFAICS they still lack realtime-capable 
multithreading and decent multimedia interfaces. And we need more brave 
souls like Erik who are willing to stray away from the traditional paths 
and give those new languages a chance. ;-)


Dr. Albert Gr"af
Dept. of Music-Informatics, University of Mainz, Germany
Email:  Dr.Graef at t-online.de, ag at muwiinfa.geschichte.uni-mainz.de
WWW:    http://www.musikinformatik.uni-mainz.de/ag

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