Mathematics and Computation

A blog about mathematics for computers

An object-oriented language Boa

I have added another language, called Boa, to the Programming Languages Zoo. It is an object-oriented language with the following features:

In many respects the language is a bit like a combination of Python and Javascript, which explains its name. It was interesting to see the students’ reaction to the language. The only object-oriented language they knew previously was java, so the lack of classes bothered them. They were amused by the fact that since “everything is an object” we can extend an integer with a function to get an object which behaves both as an integer and as a function (we did not learn about intersection types), like this:

Boa> let x = 42 with (fun x -> x + 1000)
x = 42 with <fun>
Boa> x + 10
Boa> x 17
Boa> x x


Isn’t that cute?



Did you mean a combination of Python and Lua, because that's what it sounds like, and it would be a closer match, with the snaky reference like Python and the short spelling and sound of Lua. Plus boas are populous in Brazil, the home of Lua.

I mentioned javascript because I thought more people knew that javascript had "objects without classes". I did not actually know where boas came from. Thanks for letting me know.

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