Research Language Overviews
This list is intentionally biased towards sequential functional,
logic, and object-oriented languages whose design and implementation
are the subject of active research. Other language overviews are
summarized at the bottom. (Anybody want to compile a similar list
for parallel languages?)
Additional language design and implementation projects are described
on the research projects page.
- Ada 95
- Support for strong type checking, modularity, genericity,
object-oriented programming, parallelism, distribution, multi-language
programming, system programming, numerics, exceptions, clear syntax,
ISO standard approved in February 1995 with a strong validation suite.
- The BETA page at Aarhus University.
- BETA is a strongly-typed, object-oriented language supporting
both procedural and functional programming. BETA's abstraction
mechanisms include support for identification of objects,
classification, and composition. Numerous abstraction mechanisms,
such as classes, procedures, functions, coroutines, processes,
exceptions etc., are all unified into a single abstraction mechanism:
- The Cecil page at the University of Washington
- Cecil is a pure object-oriented language intended to support
rapid construction of high-quality, extensible software. Cecil
combines multi-methods with a simple object model, module-based
encapsulation, and optional static type checking.
- Dylan pages at Carnegie Mellon, Apple Computer, and Harlequin
- Dylan is an object-oriented dynamic language resembling
Scheme and CLOS.
- An overview of dynamic languages at Apple Computer.
- Dynamic languages typically offer run-time type information,
automatic storage management, and interactive development
- The Eiffel page.
- Eiffel is a pure object-oriented language featuring multiple
inheritance, polymorphism, static typing and dynamic binding,
genericity (constrained and unconstrained), a disciplined exception
mechanism, systematic use of assertions to promote programming by
contract, and deferred classes for high-level design and analysis.
Elf Meta-Language page at Carnegie Mellon
- Elf is a constraint logic programming language based on the LF
Logical Framework. It is intended as a uniform meta-language for
specifying, implementing, and proving properties of programming
languages and logics.
- The Erlang page at Ericsson.
- Erlang is a mostly functional symbolic programming language
featuring modules, concurrency, distribution, and dynamic reconfiguration.
The Forth page at the University of Paisley
- Forth is an interactive programming environment and programming
language supporting compile-time and run-time language extensions.
Functional languages FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
- The Gentle
page at GMD.
- Gentle is a programming language for compiler writers.
It provides a uniform notation for
grammar specifications and mappings to abstract syntax,
transformation based on pattern matching and structural induction,
as well as code generation driven by cost annotations.
The Gentle Compiler Construction System translates high-level
compiler descriptions into efficient and portable C, Lex, and Yacc code.
- The Haskell
language definition, and
- Haskell is a polymorphic lazy functional language with
- The Fudget
library is a toolkit for concurrent programming of graphical user
interfaces, client/servers and more in Haskell. It is implemented in
a purely functional way in Haskell, without using state, threads or
other extensions for concurrency or imperative programming.
High Performance Fortran Language Specification
- An extension of Fortran that supports data parallel programming.
- The Hope page at Imperial College.
- Hope is a functional programming language with polymorphic
typing, algebraic types, pattern matching and higher-order functions.
Java White Paper at Sun
- Java is an object-oriented, distributed, robust, secure,
architecture neutral, multithreaded, and dynamic language.
lambda Prolog page at UPenn
- An extension to Prolog featuring higher-order programming,
polymorphic types, modules, abstract datatypes, and direct support for
lambda-terms. Based upon the intuitionistic theory of higher-order
hereditary Harrop formulas.
- LISP is a family of dynamically typed functional languages.
Common LISP has a rich set of data types and operations
and an object-oriented programming facility (CLOS).
- The Lygon
page at the University of Melbourne
- Lygon is a logic programming language that is based on
Lygon's features include a clean declarative notion of state and the ability
to express problems involving concurrency.
In addition, the availability of use once
predicates allows simple solutions to problems such as graph manipulation.
Mercury page at the University of Melbourne
- Mercury is a purely declarative logic programming language that
is strongly typed and strongly moded and features a module system and
Modula-3 home page at DEC SRC
Modula-3 is a systems programming language that supports
interfaces, objects, generics, lightweight threads of control,
the isolation of unsafe code, garbage collection, exceptions
- The Napier88
page at the University of St Andrews.
- Napier88 is a persistent programming language and environment with
strong typing, type completeness, higher order procedures, parametric
polymorphism, existential datatypes, infinite union types for system
evolution, and support for graphics, distribution and concurrency.
- The NESL page
at Carnegie Mellon
- NESL is a mostly functional data-parallel language loosely based on ML.
It has polymorphic types, a limited form of higher-order functions,
a built-in performance model, and supports nested parallelism.
Obliq home page at DEC SRC.
- Obliq is a lexically-scoped untyped interpreted language that
supports distributed object-oriented computation. Obliq objects have
state and are local to a site. Obliq computations can roam over the
network, while maintaining network connections.
- The Occam Archive
- Occam is a parallel computing language based on CSP.
- The Oz page at DFKI
- Oz is a concurrent constraint programming language designed for
applications that require complex symbolic computations, organization
into multiple agents, and soft real-time control.
- The Pict page at Indiana University.
- Pict is a concurrent programming language based on the
pi-calculus. Its type system integrates a number of features found in
recent work on theoretical foundations for typed object-oriented
languages: higher-order polymorphism, simple recursive types,
subtyping, and a powerful partial type inference algorithm.
Pizza page at the University of Karlsruhe
- Pizza is a superset of Java that features parametric
polymorphism, higher-order functions, and algebraic types.
- Prometheus is a high-level programming language designed for AI,
mathematics, logic, and list and string processing.
Python Programming Language page at CWI
- An interpreted, interactive, object-oriented language that incorporates modules, exceptions, dynamic typing, very high level dynamic data types, and classes.
Sather page at Berkeley.
- Sather in an object-oriented language with parameterized classes,
strong static typing, multiple inheritance, higher-order functions,
and exception handling.
Scheme page at MIT, the Scheme Repository at Indiana, and a
short introduction to Scheme.
- Scheme is a dialect of LISP that stresses conceptual elegance and
at Lawrence Livermore
- Sisal is a functional language intended for scientific programs
on parallel supercomputers. Most Sisal programs outperform equivalent
Fortran programs compiled using automatic vectorizing and
- The Standard ML
page at Carnegie Mellon
- A functional language with
static polymorphic typing and parameterized modules.
- [This page and others are served by
The FoxNet Web Server, which is written completely
in an extension of SML (e.g. even the TCP/IP protocol stack).]
- Dialects of ML include
Caml and Objective
- The Theta page at MIT
- Theta is an object-oriented programming language featuring
separate type and class hierarchies, multiple super-types, single
inheritance, parametric polymorphism, and subtype polymorphism.
Other Language Overviews
the language research page
Additions and corrections are welcome!
Mark Leone (