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The V programming language

koddr profile image Vic Shóstak Updated on ・3 min read

Introduction

Hello! I'm starting “Good to know” series.

I so excited to show you very young, but simple, fast, safe & compiled programming language called V (or vlang for Google Search bots).

Objectives of the article

  1. Story of V;
  2. Hello World;
  3. Main features of language;
  4. How to install and update;

What's "V" mean?

No, Alexander Medvednikov (author of V programming language) do not fan of "V for Vendetta" movie or Vue.js! But it's very interesting story:

Initially the language had the same name as the product it was created for: Volt. The extension was ".v", I didn't want to mess up git history, so I decided to name it V :)

It's a simple name that reflects the simplicity of the language, and it's easy to pronounce for everyone in the world.

Alexander Medvednikov

The V's "Hello World"!

// hello_world.v

fn main() {
  w := 'World'
  println('Hello $w!')
}

Clear and simple, uh? What if I tell you that this code can be written in even shorter form? If your program is only single file (all code in one file), V allows you to drop fn main() {...}.

Like this:

// hello_world.v

w := 'World'
println('Hello $w!')

Yes, this is a valid V code too!

Main features

Please note: this article was written when V version was 0.1.24.

V is written in V

The entire language and its standard library are less than 1 MB and can be built in less than 0.6 seconds.

V compiles between ≈100k and 1.2 million lines of code per second per CPU core (without hardware optimization).

As fast as C

Minimal amount of allocations, plus built-in serialization without runtime reflection. Compiles to native binaries without any dependencies.

Is V still fast? Look monitoring compilation speed table.

Safety

  • NO 👎
    • null (nil, None, ...)
    • global variables
    • variable shadowing
    • undefined values + behavior
  • YES 👍
    • bounds checking
    • option/result types
    • generics
  • By default 👌
    • immutable variables + structs
    • pure functions

Similar to another languages

If you work with C, Go, Rust or JavaScript, you're ready to write code on V! Don't trust me, read program code near and answer "what does each line do?":

import time
import http

fn main() {
  resp := http.get('https://vlang.io/utc_now') or {
    println('failed to fetch data from the server')
    return
  }

  t := time.unix(resp.text.int())
  println(t.format())
}

This program go to external HTTP server and return UNIX timestamp or print failed to fetch data from the server. OK! We set to t variable normalized date and time by standard V library time and print result.

Simple to read, easy to write and can be learned in less than an hour!

Build-in package manager

The V Package Manager (vpm) — it's package management tool similar to NPM by Node.js, Cargo by Rust, Go Modules and many more.

$ v install [module]

Cross-platform UI library

UI is a cross-platform UI toolkit written in V for Windows, macOS, Linux, and soon Android, iOS and the web (JS/WASM).

V UI uses native widgets on Windows and macOS, on all other platforms the widgets are drawn by V UI.

Cross-platform UI library

Plugins for V syntax on popular code editors

  1. VS Code
  2. Vim
  3. Vid (1 MB editor written in V)

Okay, time to try V on your computer!

  • First, go to console and clone V repository:
$ git clone https://github.com/vlang/v.git
  • Next, go to v folder and run make:
$ cd v && make

On Windows, make means running make.bat, so make sure you use cmd.exe.

  • Third, let's create symlink for it:
$ sudo ./v symlink
  • That's all! 😉 V was installed to /usr/local/bin/v path and available to call by v.

Update V

For update V to latest version, simply type on console:

$ v up

More about V language

Fresh news

Exercises

  1. Find in V official web site comparison to other languages;
  2. Go to official V Playground and write some code;
  3. Install V on your computer, go to example folder on GitHub repository and run "Game of life";

Photo by

[Title] Annie Spratt https://unsplash.com/photos/QckxruozjRg

P.S.

If you want more — write a comment below & follow me. Thx! 😘

Posted on by:

koddr profile

Vic Shóstak

@koddr

Hey! 👋 I'm founder and full stack web developer (Go, JavaScript, Docker & automation) at True web artisans. Golang lover, UX evangelist, DX philosopher & UI Dreamer with over 12+ years of experience.

Discussion

markdown guide
 

If Go and Rust had a baby it would be this language. Grandpa C should be proud.

 
 

The most important thing about vlang, is it has (it should) only "One way to do thing", so the produced code is predictable, hence the possibility of translation from/to C (or possible C++ in the future).

 

I’ve seen a couple other articles about it and am intrigued. It seems to borrow heavily from golang and address several long-standing gripes: null, generics, etc.

They talk about memory safety and management akin to rust, seemingly without the complication of lifetimes. That’s something I’ve wanted to learn more about.

 

No aliens. :(

Looks interesting. I likely don't have a use for it at the moment, but I like some of the features/goals listed in the introduction.

 

Yes, V is very interesting! When I first read their site, I was pleasantly surprised by everything that was described. No to nil, yes to generics and many more 🎁

Then I tried build some app, but decided not to rush and postponed this article for a couple of months... but after release V UI kit, I understand: V language is not going to be someone else's "pet project"! He's growing!

And I need to help him with this... 😅

 
 
 

Really like the idea, and its simplicity. I can't wrap my head around writing code without any form of classes.

 
 

Yep, this is name of article's series. Hope it helps to learn something new! 🙂