Io: small is beautiful

Thursday, February 9th, 2006

I have always enjoyed learning a new programming language, especially when the language in question opened my eyes to new idioms. Lisp had a profound impact on me. Prolog too. (I confess, I still have to learn Smalltalk – it would no doubt make this list). Recently I have been teaching myself Ruby. Ruby shares a lot with Lisp (so thinks Eric Kidd). It looked familiar enough very quickly. Ruby’s “principle of least surprise” works for me! While reading about Ruby I stumbled upon an interview of Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto, Ruby’s creator. When asked what languages he would recommend to learn, Matz answered Io and Haskell.

I do not know why I chose to have a look at Io rather than Haskell. What I know is that I really like the Io language. Io is beautifully simple. It might not appear so to a newcomer. I suppose this is due to the documentation lagging a bit behind a fast changing implementation.

Here are a list of places to check out if you are looking for information:

  • The Io Manual: great introduction
  • type-z wiki: another great introduction
  • Code samples: short but informative examples
  • irc channel: a very friendly and knowledgeable community, good place to get some help, discuss features… I have met some very interesting people there
  • Pipapo wiki: more advanced information

Have a look, you will be charmed!

Thanks to everyone on the IRC channel, I have learned so much on so many interesting concepts in so little time.

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