Arc Makes Programs Shorter

Feb 08, 2008

Businessman and Lisp enthusiast Paul Graham presented the initial version of the Arc programming language. Graham points in particular to the brevity of Arc source code and has launched a programming language competition.

The release announcement describes Arc as a new dialect of Lisp which is still not complete, but usable. Currently Arc compiles source code with MzScheme, another member of the Lisp family, from which Arc borrows numeric and mathematical operations.

Graham sees Arc as a language for practically-oriented programmers who enjoy experimenting and need more freedom in program design. He refers to the language as "non-bureaucratic".

Above all, the language impresses with short source code files and parsing trees. After all, this is the whole point of a high-level language Paul Graham emphasizes. To add practical relevance to this, Graham is organizing a programming competition in the Arc Forum. The tasks describes a website that processes a simple form. Grahams Arc code for the complete application looks like this:

(defop said req (aform [w/link (pr "you said: " (arg _ "foo")) (pr "click here")] (input "foo") (submit)))

The Arc Challenge for fans of other programming languages is to create shorter source code for the program.

The Arc homepage has an installation guide and a short introduction to Arc programming, which does not assume prior knowledge of Lisp. Arc is licensed under the Perl Foundation's Artistic License 2.0.

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