I saw Julia, a new programming language geared towards scientific computing, a week or so ago, and have played with it since. Its been a while that a new language has seemed this interesting on first glance. I just started a BigInt implementation using GMP, and its been a breeze.
A few features that stand out for me are
- Multiple method dispatch
- Type inference and parametric types
- Fast linear algebra using BLAS/LAPACK
The language also includes macros, union types, and an explicit type coercing construct. All wrapped up in an LLLVM based JIT, so it’s quite fast. Overall, an exciting new language even at this early stage. Of course, a lot remains to be done, not the least a module/namespace system.
Hopefully the occasional R or Octave script I write will be a thing of the past.