Emerging Languages
Location: E144
Average rating: ****.
(4.80, 5 ratings)

Magpie is a brand new language that borrows the shiniest bits from other languages. From Lisp, it takes multimethods and extensible syntax. From ML, it takes pattern-matching and records. From Ruby it takes classes, and a passion for clarity and readability.

Of course, it’s easy say I take inspiration from the greats. Whether or not I’ve learned wisely from them remains to be seen. In this talk I’ll prostrate myself before you humbly and offer up what I’ve made.

I’ll go over the basic features of the language with a minimum of bullet points and a maximum of live code. If I designed it right, I should be able to load most of the language in your head in less than an hour.

Once that’s done, we’ll see what we can make with it. My goal is a little language that’s open-ended enough to let you define at the library level what other languages would need to bake in. Some would say that this stems from a principled philosophy of minimalism. Others would argue that I’m too lazy to make a big language.

I can’t promise to inform, but I swear to entertain. There may be a graph or two. Hopefully some audience participation, but you will not be required to sing.

Photo of Bob Nystrom

Bob Nystrom


Bob Nystrom is a Googler working on the Dart programming language. In past lives, he was a game developer, a UI designer, and a computer animator.