Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Visual Prolog 7.3

Prolog Development Center has just released version 7.3 of Visual Prolog.

VIP was once known as Borland Turbo Prolog and was one of my favorite tools alongside Borland C++ for OS/2.

PDC Prolog has its counterpart in the Mercury project: a typed Prolog.

So what is new in 7.3? Well, Visual Prolog is getting ready to go 64-bit.  That and more are detailed at the 7.3 page.

For a while I thought the Prolog would go behind the scenes at PDC as it did when Air Liquide acquired Prologia in France (the home of Prolog IV as CLP.)   Happily PDC now is back to showcasing at least AI and not just smart software applications.

But what will the fate of this Prolog prove to be?  In a decade or two, projects such as Oz and Mercury may be in other hands - but a small commercial venture?

In my experience the strength of Visual Prolog was not the IDE or the GUI-building tools but the debugging.  And that has been further strengthened in the 7.3 release.

There is a "personal version" available for download and extensive examples come with it.

Prolog is part of the Adobe world in the ILOG arena (an IBM acquisition) and in an age of multi-processor 64-bit hardware, Prolog should come into its own in the RDF processing needs of the semantic web (in which regard, see Logtalk and the XSB project as well as http://www.swi-prolog.org/ for alternatives to PDC.)

A typed-Prolog should present no problem to ActionScript Flex developers at home with a typed ECMAScript variant - and "declarative" MXML UI layout.

Other languages superbly suited to processing text: ObjectIcon, Icon 9.5, Rebol, Oz.

Other Prolog implementations of merit: Eclipse-housed AMZI! Prolog.

For OOP for almost any other Prolog than PDC, see http://www.logtalk.org/

When the ICON language was named, Ralph Griswold could not have suspected that computing would come to have an "iconic" interface.  Curl has suffered a similar fate due to haxx.se and cURL.  Sadly, XML has a "prolog" and not a "prologue" so without RDF, searching for news on Prolog and XML is vexing.  So far, Rebol fares best and Oz much better.  As for Mercury and Alice, what's in a name?


Thursday, June 17, 2010

PLT Scheme becomes Racket

PLT Scheme is not only alive and well but has a new name and home: Racket at racket-lang.org

Think hack-a-rocket or the planet-scheme.

Racket is intended to foster experimentation and innovation with domain-specific languages.

I am a big fan of the Curl programming language from curl.com because it has DSL-friendly macros and is both expression-based and functional and declarative and class-oriented. 

At en.wikipedia.org you will see Racket in the multi-paradigm category when I get a moment - for now they have some discussion of this at wp.

Meanwhile Rebol3 works its way towards beta ...