Google engineers have developed a new programming language called Carbon to replace C++. Here are some details that software developers should be aware of.
Carbon, a new programming language, was introduced earlier in 2023. It is a systems programming language first presented on July 19 at the CppNorth conference in Canada by Chandler Carruth, a software engineer for Google.
Carbon, which is still in the experimental stage, might replace C++. Carbon is currently in a very early stage. The early incomplete specification and the Carbon Explorer interpreter, which enables developers to test out specific language features, are what they have to work with.
The programming language Carbon is fresh and contemporary and has grown in popularity recently. Carbon creator wants it to be a straightforward, quick-to-learn language that makes it simple to create complex programs. Because of the language’s simplicity and usability, Python and Ruby are frequently used as comparisons.
So, to assess what Carbon might be for developers, they must consider both the language’s current specification and its long-term objectives.
What Distinguishes Carbon?
Programming language innovation is standard. For instance, the creation of Scala and Clojure was motivated by the desire to allow the reuse of Java code in new and contemporary languages. Adopting these languages for current Java developers “never worked out that well,” as managing projects that combined Java and Scala was challenging.
But then Kotlin, a new language, appeared. It adopted many of Scala’s beneficial concepts but packaged them in a way Java developers could easily understand. Where does Carbon fit into this picture, then? It is a new language that aims to be “a drop-in replacement” for C++, allowing developers to have both in the same project.
It shares the same idea as Swift and Kotlin. This is very dissimilar to systems programming languages like Rust, Go, D, and Nim, which can theoretically replace C++. They can not have a mixed project, which is the problem. These languages can reuse existing C++ code but not without additional effort.
Why Developers Are Choosing Carbon Over C++
Even though mixing the two languages in a project can be advantageous, it is unclear why developers would need to learn Carbon when they already have C++. Carbon might be seen as a clean C++ implementation that paves the way for entry from less experienced programmers. C++ has evolved into a specialized language that talented and seasoned developers mostly use.
Although writing C++ code for the first time is not impossible, inexperienced developers risk making numerous costly programming errors. The C++ programming language provides a wide variety of opportunities to screw up. As a result, writing high-quality C++ code requires extensive knowledge and expertise.
Less seasoned programmers can contribute significantly to an existing C++ project thanks to Carbon. Carbon reduces the time needed for training developers to produce high-quality code, which is advantageous for businesses.
The main draw for companies is the ability to reuse sizable C++ codebases that they have spent years and small fortunes developing. For seasoned developers, Carbon may also provide increased productivity and a small amount of security.
Benefits of the Programming Language Carbon
Easy to Learn: One of Carbon’s most significant advantages is how simple it is to learn. The language intends to be simple and uncomplicated, making it ideal for those just starting with programming.
Fast Performance: Carbon is quick, which makes it the perfect language for complex programs. Because of the language’s speed optimizations, it is possible to create programs that execute quickly and without interruption.
Large Community: Carbon’s user and developer communities are both sizable and vibrant. This simplifies getting support and assistance when developers need it, sharing their code, and advancing the language.
Excellent for Web Development: The language Carbon is perfect for web development. Because of its simplicity and speed, the language is ideal for creating dynamic websites and web applications.
Carbon Programming Language Drawbacks
Limited Libraries: Despite having a sizable and vibrant community, there are only a few libraries and tools for Carbon. This may limit the language’s abilities and make it challenging to complete some tasks.
Not as Popular as Other Languages: Python, Ruby, and Java are more widely used programming languages than Carbon. This implies fewer employment opportunities for carbon developers and more occasional learning and development resources available.
New and Unproven: The language of Carbon is relatively new and unproven. Despite recent growth in popularity, the language still needs to be more widely used than other programming languages, making it challenging to find resources and support.
Guidelines for Developers
Carbon is still in its initial stages, which means that there is still a lot that developers still need to learn about it, even though there are many reasons to be thrilled to have a new programming language. Managing memory manually is inevitable, but many opportunities exist to streamline the allocation and deallocation processes.
Destructors are a crucial concept that C++ developers will be familiar with and tend to love because they provide an excellent way of handling resources, even though Carbon does not have constructors. For example, a file handle could be closed by a destructor for an object representing a file.
Since there are no compilers for Carbon and the interpreter has minimal functionality, it is better to wait a few years before diving into the language, mainly if the developer is a hands-on type. However, there are a few options for those who wish to see the language and future developments.
Developers can look at the creators’ various code examples, of course. Of course, there is also the initial presentation. It depends on the requirements that developers have. Reading popularized versions of that information may be more practical because not everyone will find reading a language specification appealing.