Factor: an extensible interactive language

  • Date  Time
  • Speaker
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A special Galois tech talk next week, with Slava Pestov talking aboutthe Factor programming language, environment, and implementation.




  • Thursday Oct 30, 2008, 10.30 – 11.30




Factor is a programming language which has been in development for a little over 5 years. Factor is influenced by Forth, Lisp, Smalltalk. Factor takes the best ideas from Forth — simplicity, short, succint, code, emphasis on interactive testing, and meta-programming. Factor also brings modern high-level language features such as garbage collection, object orientation and functional programming familiar to users of languages such as Lisp, Smalltalk and Python. Finally, recognizing that no programming language is an island, Factor is portable, ships with a full-featured standard library, deploys stand-alone binaries, and interoperates with C and Objective-C.In this talk, I will give the rationale for Factor’s creation, present an overview of the language, and show how Factor can be used to solve real-world problems with a minimum of fuss. At the same time, I will emphasize Factor’s extensible syntax, meta-programming and reflection capabilities, and show that these features, which are unheard of in the world of mainstream programming languages, make programs easier to write, more robust, and fun.


Galois has been holding weekly technical seminars for several years on topics from functional programming, formal methods, compiler and language design, to cryptography, and operating system construction, with talks by many figures from the programming language and formal methods communities.