D programming language

Until last week I’d barely heard of the D programming language. Then I had a chance to meet Walter Bright who designed the language in 1999. I also met Andrei Alexandrescu who has been collaborating on the design of D since 2006. Both gave talks on D at Lang.NEXT.

Walter Bright’s talk was an overview of D. Andrei Alexandrescu’s talk was Three Unlikely Successful Features of D. Both were also part of the native languages panel discussion.

I haven’t written a line of D, but I was impressed with the ideas from D presented at the conference. I was also impressed by Walter Bright. When you spend three decades writing compilers, you learn a few things.

Not many developers use D, but the language has influenced more popular languages such as C++ and C#. For example, I believe the var keyword in C# and the auto keyword in C++ came from an analogous feature first implemented in D.

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6 comments on “D programming language
  1. Mark Turney says:

    Towards the end of Stroustrup’s description of the new auto in C++11, he reveals that it was first implemented in Cfront in 1984 but it was removed due to C compatibility problems. On another note, I really enjoy your blog and read it daily.

  2. PhilM says:

    I have heard of D but never really bothered to read about its salient features. I was hoping to learn something from your posting on D but unfortunately there isn’t much (I will follow the links you provide).

    Dare I say, compiler writing and language design are orthogonal skills? It might be better to characterize Walter as a talented language designer.

  3. Yang says:

    +1 on the distinction between expertise in compilers vs in language design. That said, Walter is also very strong in the former. His product sites do a good job illustrating this.

    D’s a neat language, but automated type inference has been around long before D, and in languages much more influential than D.

  4. Don Fredkin says:

    The auto specifier exists in C. See section A8.1 of Kernighan & Ritchie, Second Edition. I think it is already in the first edition, but I have lost my copy due to various moves over the years.

  5. JasonR says:

    There are actually two auto keywords in the world of C/C++. The original auto keyword referred to the storage specifier. The new auto keyword is for variables that the compiler deduces the type of automatically. K&R is referring to the old auto keyword, not the new one.

  6. Dear friends

    I use the D Language in Brazil, do evangelism in Brazil!

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