Saturday, May 2, 2015


Ok, some fairly big news: I've decided to start work on Monkey2!

I'm going with an open source/crowd funded approach this time, as I don't consider the idea of selling languages to be commercially viable these days. I am planning to start with a patreon project (see: which I hope to have up in a week or so.

Is there any point to writing a new language? In a way, probably not, as I'm constantly reminded each time I read a slashdot thread about new language XYZ! But I do think there's a core bunch of people who like using BRL languages (myself included) and since I also really like making them, I'm gonna try to figure out a way to continue to do just that as a full time thing.

The basic idea is to fix the problems in the monkey1 language, add some cool new language features, and take the build/runtime system in a much more blitzmax-ish direction. To this end, monkey2 will initially only support c++ targets that have a posix-ish api, which effectively means that only the desktop, ios and android targets will be supported. However, since the overall approach is basically the same as monkey1 - ie: everything ends up going through a translator - the potential is there to support more targets in the future. Alas, as I found out with monkey1, emitting code in bunch of target languages is the 'easy' bit...

Losing html5 hurts, but without it the range of 'lowest common denominator' features becomes much richer, and the job of supporting all those features much simpler. Most of the other targets are pretty much dead now, so I'm not too sad about losing them. Besides, they'll live on in monkey1 which I fully intend to continue to support and tweak.

Why not just 'fix' Monkey1? Mainly because it's gotten pretty tricky to sanely tinker with in certain areas - areas that I really, really want to tinker with. It was my first attempt at an OO language with generics, and I will freely admit that I didn't quite nail it first time around. But I've been hacking away on Monkey2 for the last week or so, starting from the ground up with a new parser, a new approach to semantic analysis etc, and I am very happy with how it's going and (finally) feel confident I can do much better this time.

All in all, it is my hope that monkey2 will find a nice balance between monkey1's sexier language and blitzmax's 'hackability'.

There is nothing to release yet, but I've added a Monkey2 forum to so feel free to post comments and questions there.


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