First encounter with Vala

I just rewrote the openmoko-terminal2 application (a lightweight terminal for the OpenMoko environment using Vte) in Vala. Please compare with the source of the C-based incarnation here.

In my opinion, Vala is nothing more and nothing less than the future of application coding for the GNOME platform. Vala combines a nice high level syntax (modelled after C# and Java) using GObject as the object model and compiles straight away to plain ‘ole C. Yes, that means no runtime libraries, no bloat, no performance drawbacks.

Vala removes the need of typing run time typecasts and endless function names and adds compile-time type checking. This will boost your coding-efficiency a lot. Vala has an enormous potential for the C-dominated GNOME platform and I hope people will realize that and be giving Vala a chance.

Yes, I still prefer Python (and C++) — but now I have a sane escape route for some projects where I had to do stuff in C. Which I consider being a very good thing :D

P.S. Of course OpenEmbedded supports programs written in Vala as well — I added the compiler a couple of weeks ago. Sane autotools-based projects don’t need to do anything but add vala-native to the DEPENDS line.

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