Cello could be music to the ears of C developers

A college student's project looks to provide higher-level programming in C

Programmers using the C language are about to get some assistance in using the language, courtesy of a college student in the United Kingdom.

Cello, which would provide higher-level programming in C, is due to be released as a library in a couple of months, said Cello developer Daniel Holden, a student at the University of Edinburgh. The technology has been developed as a GNU99 C library, featuring capabilities like interfaces for structured design, exceptions for controlling error handling, and constructors/destructors to aid in memory management. A duck typing capability in Cello, meanwhile, supports generic functions and enhances programming, while syntactic sugar in Cello boosts readability.

Holden has been working on Cello for about a year and has had preliminary versions available. All core elements are in place and just a few bugs need to be worked out, added Holden, who noted the usefulness of the C language: "C's often used in embedded systems and systems very close to the metal and the processor, but it's actually a very simple and elegant language and surprisingly powerful."

Available under the BSD3 license, Cello is geared to C power users, the Cello Web page said. The high-level structure of Cello was "inspired" by Haskell, while Objective-C and Python inspired the syntax and semantics. "It' s a bit of an experiment, really," Holden said.

C regularly tops the Tiobe Programming Index, which gauges the popularity of programming languages. The Unix OS was written in C, and Wikipedia cites numerous languages based on C, including Java and PHP.

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