Archive for the ‘Fortress Language’ Category

Oracle closes Fortress language down for good

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Oracle closes Fortress language down for good by Chris Mayer.

From the post:

Oracle is to cease all production on the long-running Fortress language project, seeking to cast aside any language that isn’t cutting the mustard financially.

Guy Steele, creator of Fortress and also involved in Java’s development under Sun jurisdiction, wrote on his blog: “After working nearly a decade on the design, development, and implementation of the Fortress programming language, the Oracle Labs Programming Language Research Group is now winding down the Fortress project.“

He added: “Ten years is a remarkably long run for an industrial research project (one to three years is much more typical), but we feel that our extended effort has been worthwhile.”

Guy’s post has commentary on points of pride from the Fortress project:

  • Generators and reducers
  • Implicit parallelism supported by work-stealing
  • Nested atomic blocks supported by transactional memory
  • Parametrically polymorphic types that are not erased
  • Symmetric multimethod dispatch and parametrically polymorphic methods
  • Multiple inheritance, inheritance symmetry, and type exclusion
  • Mathematical syntax
  • Components and APIs
  • Dimensions and units
  • Explicit descriptions of data distribution and processor assignment
  • Conditional inheritance and conditional method definition

Respectable output for a project? Yes?

To avoid saying something in anger, I did research Oracle’s Support for Open Source and Open Standards:

  • Berkeley DB
  • Eclipse
  • GlassFish
  • Hudson
  • InnoDB
  • Java
  • Java Platform, Micro Edition (Java ME)
  • Linux
  • MySQL
  • NetBeans
  • OpenJDK
  • PHP
  • VirtualBox
  • Xen
  • Free and Open Source Software

Hard for me to say which one of those projects I would trade for Fortress or even ODF/OpenOffice.

But that was Oracle’s call, not mine.

On the other hand, former Oracle support doesn’t bar anyone else from stepping up. So maybe it is your call now?

Parallel processors are here, now, in abundance. Can’t say the same for programming paradigms to take full advantage of them.

Topic maps may help you avoid re-inventing Fortress concepts and mechanisms, if you learn from the past, as opposed to re-inventing it.