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Forget Rust: A new programming language is rivalling C++

It's an exciting time to be a software engineer looking to learn a new language. Mojo, a Python rival in the AI space, launched last month and another language that's starting to make waves is instead competing with C++. Developed by senior scientists from Adobe, Val is being looked at by a number of developers with increasing promise. It's competing with low-level programming languages, even though it's a high-level language itself.

Val's unique selling point is described on its developer blog as its "focus on mutable value semantics for the purpose of writing efficient, generic code." It purports to be "a zero-cost abstraction language that fully acknowledges the physical constraints of computer architecture." The last promising language describing itself like this?... Rust.

So what do engineers think of Val compared to C++? One commentor on Hacker News likens it to coding in C++ "like you don't care about performance," but without the performance sacrifices. How? He says it's because the "optimization under the hood preserves both the performance and the semantics that you want at the same time."

Val's compiler is written in Swift, which is interoperable with C++. Because of this, developers are asking if it could be "for C++ what rust is for C." However, when putting Rust and Val head to head, one developer suggested "Rust is the winner just because it's already overcome the incredible hurdles of being shipped in the Linux and Windows kernels themselves."

One of the primary contributors to Val is Adobe principal scientist Dave Abrahams, a former Apple and Google engineer, as well as a longtime contributor to the Boost language. Engineers noted that his involvement was what piqued their interest, and that the language itself had "thoughtful ideas around ownership."

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AUTHORAlex McMurray Reporter

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