back to article Oracle lowers the flag on Fortress language project

Oracle is shuttering the long-running Fortress programming language research project, in the database giant's latest move to divest itself of the less-profitable pieces of Sun Microsystems' software portfolio. "After working nearly a decade on the design, development, and implementation of the Fortress programming language, …


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  1. BlueGreen

    Not good news

    Guy Steele is a *big* cheese in the language world. I was barely aware of fortress but with him behind it I'd be reassured it was being competently put together.

    I'll read up on it a bit more (pointless now it's dying but new ideas are always a win).

    Oracle's billions vs a few million a year - if that - on research project with world-class staff. Short sightedness at its finest, god bless capitalism and its firm, steady captains.

  2. Stephen Channell

    or Oracle dumps another failed Sun project

    Given the success of Scala in a relatively short time with little money compared to a ten-year Sun project that sucked up DARPA funds; it is fair to say that the project simply failed.

    Ok so they worked out quite quickly that the Java VM is not that great for parallel algorithms, but they couldn’t fix the JVM for political reasons and couldn’t use a different VM again for political reasons.. so why spend years flogging a dead horse.

    Java’s lack of structs (value types) is the parallel handicap (& reason why IBM forked the X10 VM).. if you can’t do something as simple as an array of complex numbers without scattering over the heap, you’re not going to be able to feed a GPGPU (witness the differences between .NET & Java binding to NAG libraries).

  3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    "Fortress has a unique syntax that resembles mathematical notation, the native language of computer science."

    I don't know of a "native language" of computer science (maybe predicate calculus? or lambda calculus?), but does this mean Fortress is more like APL, more like Haskell, more like a LISP or more like Prolog?

    Expect Larry to raise a stink about "valuable IP" once someone uses this to make a penny.

    1. breakfast Silver badge

      Lambda Calculus?

      Does that mean that the closest we can get to the native language of computer science is Unlambda? ( )

      1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

        Re: Lambda Calculus?

        ts design was influenced by Fortran, Java, and many other languages – and it runs on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM)

        The other languages such as; the power of C and Assembler, the brackets of Lisp, the positional operands of RPG I, the.. err... whatever of Lambda Calculus, the structure of Modula-2.

        Oh the HORROR!!!!!!!!

        I fully expect it to replace ADA in 'merkin land grubberment projects.

  4. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    Some nice research there

    Steele's blog post, linked in the article, has a nice summary of the more-interesting language features explored by the Fortress team. It's worth reading if you speak computer-language-designese.

    I'm not fond of Fortress' syntax (since maintenance remains the most expensive part of commercial software development, languages should emphasize readability - and mathematical syntax is far from the most readable choice for many problem domains in IT), but I give it points for encouraging Literate Programming. There are a lot of problems with LP as Knuth originally conceived it; as long as we don't move toward a better approach to documenting code, though, we'll continue to waste tremendous resources just in figuring out what our existing source code does.

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