Innovative and practical general-purpose multi-paradigm language



Introduction

The Ring is an innovative and practical general-purpose multi-paradigm language. The supported programming paradigms are imperative, procedural, object-oriented, declarative using nested structures, functional, meta programming and natural programming. The language is portable (Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, WebAssembly, etc.) and can be used to create Console, GUI, Web, Games and Mobile applications. The language is designed to be simple, small, flexible and fast.


Innovative

Innovative

The language comes with better support for Natural Language Programming and Declarative Programming. The innovation comes in supporting these paradigms with new practical techniques on the top of Object-Oriented Programming and Functional Programming. No need to know anything about (Compilers and Parsing). You get the language constructs ready for use to create domain-specific languages in a fraction of time.

Ring Article Syntax Flexibility The Declarative Approach Natural Language Programming Natural Language Programming Library
Practical

Practical

Many of the Ring libraries (StdLib, WebLib, Natural Library, Games Engine, etc.) and the Ring IDE (Ring Notepad, Form Designer, etc.) are written in the Ring language itself. Ring is ready for use in production and increase the developers productivity.


Custom Styles And Modern Programming Paradigms

Using Ring you will feel that the language is yours! A lot of modern programming paradigms are ready for use in production and using the Natural Language Programming you can quickly integrate natural interfaces to your programs. Also, you can start your software development with writing natural descriptions, then adding the implementation later.


GUI Applications Development And RAD Tools

Many developers reported that using Ring we can develop many GUI applications in a few hours. Ring comes with Rapid Application Development (RAD) tools that we can use to quickly develop GUI applications using the MVC design pattern. Also, using the same source code we can distribute our applications for Desktop, Web and Mobile platforms.


First Class Support For Game Development

We believe in Games as a nice way to encourage people to learn programming. Ring comes with many game programming libraries in the standard library. Ring provides native support for Allegro, LibSDL, RayLib, OpenGL and Qt3D libraries. Also, Ring comes with simple game engine for 2D games development using Declarative Programming.


WebAssembly (Front-End Web Development)

Using Ring we can quickly develop web applications using WebAssembly (Binary format that allows sand-boxed executable code in web pages. This format is nearly as fast as native machine code, and is now supported by all major web browsers)


Back-End Web Development

Using Ring we can quickly develop web applications using the MVC design pattern. We can easily use HTML templates with embedded Ring code. Also, we can generate HTML code from Ring programs using Declarative Programming.


Mobile Development

Using Ring we can distribute our applications for Mobile platforms (Android, iOS, etc.)


Building Tools (Command Line)

Using Ring we can whip up a CLI tool quickly and distribute it with ease. The Ring Package Manager is an example about a powerful tool that we developed using Ring in a few hours. We recorded the development time (21 hours of development includes explaining each step)


Why Ring?

Why Ring?

The language is simple, trying to be natural, encourage organization and comes with transparent and visual implementation. It comes with compact syntax and a group of features that enable the programmer to create natural interfaces and declarative domain-specific languages in a fraction of time. It is very small, fast and comes with smart garbage collector that puts the memory under the programmer control. It supports many programming paradigms, comes with useful and practical libraries. The language is designed for productivity and developing high quality solutions that can scale.


Designed for a Clear Goal

  • Applications programming language.
  • Productivity and developing high quality solutions that can scale.
  • Small and fast language that can be embedded in C/C++ projects.
  • Simple language that can be used in education and introducing Compiler/VM concepts.
  • General-Purpose language that can be used for creating domain-specific libraries, frameworks and tools.
  • Practical language designed for creating the next version of the Programming Without Coding Technology software.

Simple

Ring is a very simple language, and has a very straightforward syntax. It encourages programmers to program without boilerplate code.
To print something using the standard output, We can use the 'See' command.

see "Hello, World!" 
			

The Main function is optional and will be executed after the statements, and is useful for using the local scope.

func main
	see "Hello, World!" 
			

Uses Dynamic Typing and Lexical scoping.
Also we can use the '+' operator for string concatenation.

nCount = 10	# Global variable
func main
	nID = 1	# Local variable
	see "Count = " + nCount + nl + " ID = " + nID
			

Trying to be natural

Ring is not case-sensitive

see "Enter your name ? " 
give name
see "Hello " + Name	# Name is the same as name 
			

The list index starts from 1

aList = ["one","two","three"]
see aList[1]	# print one
			

Call functions before definition

one() 
two() 
three()
func one 
	see "One" 
func two 
	see "two" 
func three 
	see "three" 
			

The assignment operator uses Deep copy (no references in this operation)

aList = ["one","two","three"]
aList2 = aList
aList[1] = 1
see alist[1]	# print 1
see aList2[1]	# print one
			

Pass numbers and strings by value, but pass lists and objects by reference.
The for in loop can update the list items.

func main
	aList = [1,2,3]
	update(aList)
	see aList	# print one two three

func update aList
	for x in aList
		switch x
		on 1 x = "one"
		on 2 x = "two"
		on 3 x = "three"
		off
	next
			

Using Lists during definition

aList = [ [1,2,3,4,5] , aList[1] , aList[1] ]
see aList       # print 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5
			

Exit from more than one loop

for x = 1 to 10
        for y = 1 to 10
                see "x=" + x + " y=" + y + nl
                if x = 3 and y = 5
                        exit 2     # exit from 2 loops
                ok
        next
next
			

Encourage Organization

The language encourage organization, Forget bad days using languages where the programmer start with function then class then function and a strange mix between things!

Each source file follow the next structure

  • Load Files
  • Statements and Global Variables
  • Functions
  • Packages and Classes
This enable us to use Packages, Classes and Functions without the need to use a keyword to end these components.

We can write one line comments and multi-line comments
The comment starts with # or //
Multi-line comments are written between /* and */

/* 
	Program Name : My first program using Ring
	Author       : Ring Team 
*/

see "What is your name? " 	# print message on screen
give cName 			# get input from the user
see "Hello " + cName		# say hello!

// See "End of Program!"
			

Compact Syntax

The language is not line sensitive, you don't need to write ; after statements, also you don't need to press ENTER or TAB, so we can write the next code

see "The First Message"	see " Another message in the same line! " + nl
see "Enter your name?" give Name see "Hello " + Name
			

The next code create a class called Point contains three attributes X,Y and Z. No keywords is used to end the package/class/function definition. Also, we can write the attributes names directly below the class name.

class Point X Y Z
			

We can use classes and functions before their definition, In this example we will create new object, set the object attributes then print the object values.

o1 = new point	o1.x=10    o1.y=20   o1.z=30	see O1	class Point X Y Z
			

Instead of using the dot '.' operator to access the object attributes and methods we can use braces { } to access the object, then we can use the object attributes and methods.

 
o1 = new point { x=10 y=20 z=30 } see O1  class Point X Y Z
			 

Now we will call a method after accessing the object using { }

 
oPerson = new Person
{
	Name = "Somebody"
	Address = "Somewhere"
	Phone = "0000000"
	Print()			# here we call the Print() method
}
class Person Name Address Phone
	func Print
		see "Name :" + name + nl +
		    "Address :" + Address + nl +
		    "Phone : " + phone + nl

When we use { } to access the object then write any attribute name, the language will check the class for any setter/getter methods that will be called automatically.

new Number {
		see one		# Execute GetOne()
		see two		# Execute GetTwo()
		see three	# Execute GetThree()
}
class Number one two three
	func GetOne
		see "Number : One" + nl
		return 1
	func GetTwo
		see "Number : Two" + nl
		return 2
	func GetThree
		see "Number : Three" + nl
		return 3	

Syntax Flexibility

Ring comes with many styles for writing your source code!

Also you can change the language keywords and operators and create your custom style!


Define Natural Statements based on Object-Oriented

After the object access using { } if the class contains a method called BraceEnd() it will be executed!

TimeForFun = new journey
# The first surprise!
TimeForFun {
	Hello it is me		# What a beautiful programming world!
}
# Our Class
class journey
	hello=0 it=0 is=0 me=0
	func GetHello
		See "Hello" + nl
	func braceEnd
		See "Goodbye!" + nl	

We can execute code written in strings using the Eval() function

cCode = "See 'Code that will be executed later!' "
Eval(cCode)	# execute the code to print the message

We can create a list then execute code generated from that list

aWords = ["hello","it","is","me"]
for word in aWords cCode=word+"=0" eval(cCode) next

We can read text files using the Read(cFileName) function and we can write files using the Write(cFileName,cString) function.

see "Enter File Name:" give cFileName see read(cFileName) # Print the file content

The next example presents how to create a class that defines two instructions
The first instruction is : I want window
The second instruction is : Window title = Expression
Also keywords that can be ignored like the ‘the’ keyword

new App
{
        I want window
        The window title = "hello world"
}

class App

	# Attributes for the instruction I want window
			i want window
			nIwantwindow = 0
	# Attributes for the instruction Window title
	# Here we don't define the window attribute again
			title
			nWindowTitle = 0
	# Keywords to ignore, just give them any value
			the=0

        func geti
                if nIwantwindow = 0
                        nIwantwindow++
                ok

        func getwant
                if nIwantwindow = 1
                        nIwantwindow++
                ok

        func getwindow
                if nIwantwindow = 2
                        nIwantwindow= 0
                        see "Instruction : I want window" + nl
                ok
                if nWindowTitle = 0
                        nWindowTitle++
                ok

        func settitle cValue
                if nWindowTitle = 1
                        nWindowTitle=0
                        see "Instruction : Window Title = " + cValue + nl
                ok

        

To complete the previous example, use read() to get the content of a file that contains

        I want window
        The window title = "hello world"
Then use eval() to execute the content of that file!.
Also, you can update the methods GetWindow() and SetTitle() to create Real windows using the GUI Library

Define Declarative Languages using Nested Structures based on Object-Oriented

We learned how to use Natural statements to execute our code and using the same features we can use nested structures to execute our code.

The next example from the Web library, generate HTML document using the Bootstrap library. No HTML code is written directly in this example, we created a similar language (just as example) Then using this declarative language that uses nested structures, we generated the HTML Document..
The idea in this example is that the GetDiv() and GetH1() methods return an object that we can access using {} and after each object access the method BraceEnd() will be executed to send the generated HTML to the parent object until we reach to the root where BraceEnd() will print the output.

load "weblib.ring"
import System.Web

func Main

  BootStrapWebPage()
  {
        div
        {
          classname = :container
          div
          {
                classname = :jumbotron
                H1 {   text("Bootstrap Page")   }
          }
          div
          {
                classname = :row
                for x = 1 to 3
                  div
                  {
                        classname = "col-sm-4"
                        H3 { html("Welcome to the Ring programming language") }
                        P  { html("Using a scripting language is very fun!") }
                  }
                next
          }
        }
  }

The classes that power the declarative interface looks like this


	class Link from ObjsBase
		title  link
		func braceend			
			cOutput = nl+GetTabs() + "<a href='" + 
				  Link + "'> "+ Title + " </a> " + nl			

	class Div from ObjsBase 
		func braceend
			cOutput += nl+'<div'
			addattributes()
			AddStyle()
			getobjsdata()
			cOutput += nl+"</div>" + nl
			cOutput = TabMLString(cOutput)
	 

Implementation

Implementation

Transparent Implementation

Ring comes with transparent implementation. We can know what is happening in each compiler stage and what is going on during the run-time by the Virtual Machine Example : ring helloworld.ring -tokens -rules -ic -norun

see "Hello, World!" 
			

Output

==================================================================
Tokens - Generated by the Scanner
==================================================================

   Keyword : SEE
   Literal : Hello, World!
   EndLine

==================================================================

==================================================================
Grammar Rules Used by The Parser
==================================================================

Rule : Program --> {Statement}

Line 1
Rule : Factor --> Literal
Rule : Range --> Factor
Rule : Term --> Range
Rule : Arithmetic --> Term
Rule : BitShift --> Arithmetic
Rule : BitAnd --> BitShift
Rule : BitOrXOR -->  BitAnd
Rule : Compare --> BitOrXOR
Rule : EqualOrNot --> Compare
Rule : LogicNot -> EqualOrNot
Rule : Expr --> LogicNot
Rule : Statement  --> 'See' Expr

==================================================================

==================================================================
Byte Code - Before Execution by the VM
==================================================================

     PC      OPCode        Data
      1     FuncExE
      2       PushC   Hello, World!
      3       Print
      4  ReturnNull

==================================================================
			

Visual Implementation

The Ring programming language is designed using the PWCT visual programming tool

Smart Garbage Collector

Avoid memory problems :-

  • Invalid Memory Access
  • Memory leaks
  • Uninitialized Memory Access
  • Dangling pointer
Rules :-

  • Global variables always stay in the memory, until you delete these variables using the assignment statement.
  • Local variables always deleted after the end of the function.
  • The programmer have full control on when to delete the variable from the memory using the Assignment statement.

  • Example:
    aList = [1,2,3,4,5]
    aList = "nice"
    			
    After the second line directly, The list [1,2,3,4,5] will be deleted from the memory and we will have a string "nice"

  • The programmer can call the function callgc() to force running the garbage collector.
  • If we have a reference to a variable (when we pass objects and lists to functions), then deleting variables will be based on reference counting, if no references everything will be deleted, but if we have a reference, the data will stay in memory.

No Global Interpreter (VM) Lock - No GIL

When we use threads in Ring applications, We don’t have global interpreter (VM) lock (No GIL)

So threads can work in parallel and execute Ring instructions at the same time

This is better for threads and concurrency (More Faster!)

Fast Enough For Many Applications

Ring is designed to be a simple, small and flexible language in the first place, but also it is fast enough for many applications.

Ring can do each of the next tasks in around 1 second using normal computers in the market during the last 5 years

(1) Compiling 100,000 lines of code
(2) Executing empty loop that count from 1 to 10,000,000
(3) Executing 1000 search operation using linear search in a list contains 100,000 items, trying to find the last item (The worst case)
(4) Creating list contains 1,000,000 items then summing all of the list items
(5) Adding 20,000 items to the ListWidget in GUI applications
(6) Adding 5,000 nodes to the TreeWidget in GUI applications
(7) Printing 10,000 messages to the terminal in Console applications

Also when we need more speed we can use C/C++ extensions!


Features

Features

Innovative
  • Compact Syntax
  • Three Styles for writing the source code
  • Syntax Flexibility support customization, translation and porting old code
  • Declarative Programming
  • Natural Language Programming
  • Clear program structure (Statements then functions then packages & classes)
  • using { } to access objects and use attributes/methods as variables/functions
  • No explicit end for statements (No ; or ENTER is required)
  • Use exit to go outside from more than one loop
  • No keyword to end Functions, Classes and Packages
Powerful Implementation
  • Free Open Source (MIT License)
  • Hybrid Implementation (Compiler+VM)
  • The compiler + The Virtual Machine are 20,000 lines of C code
  • The other 500,000 lines of code are related to libraries!
  • Transparent Implementation provides optional printing for Tokens/Grammar/Byte-Code during execution
  • Written in ANSI C (The code is generated)
  • Developed using Visual Programming (PWCT)
  • Smart Garbage Collector suitable for Games (Automatic Memory Management using Escape Analysis and Reference Counting)
  • No Global Interpreter Lock (No GIL)
  • Portable (Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, WebAssembly, etc.)
Simple
  • Comments (One line & Multi-line)
  • Multi-line literals
  • Not Case-Sensitive
  • The list index start from 1
  • Rich control structures & Operators
  • Range operator ex: 1:10
  • Main Function (optional)
  • Call Function before the definition
  • Recursion
  • Access (read/write) string letter by index
  • For in get item by reference not value
  • First Class Variables, Lists, Objects and Functions
  • Store/Copy Lists/Objects by value (Deep Copy)
  • Pass Lists/Objects by reference
  • 8-bit clean, work on binary data directly


Dynamic
  • Dynamic Typing
  • Lexical Scoping (Global, Local & Object State)
  • Default scope for variables inside functions (Local)
  • Default scope for variables outside functions (global)
  • Optional loading for modules in separate global scope
  • Exception Handling
  • Eval() to execute code during run-time
Object-Oriented Programming (OOP)
  • Encapsulation
  • Setter/Getter (optional)
  • private state (optional)
  • Instantiation
  • Polymorphism
  • Composition
  • Inheritance (Single Inheritance)
  • Operator Overloading
  • Packages
  • Reflection and Meta-programming
Standard Library
  • I/O commands
  • Math functions
  • String functions
  • List functions
  • File processing functions
  • System functions
  • Database support (ODBC, MySQL, PostgreSQL and SQLite)
  • Security Functions (OpenSSL)
  • Internet Functions (LibCurl)
  • Powerful GUI Framework (Qt)
  • Web Development Library
  • Many Game Programming Libraries


Web Development
  • HTTP Get
  • HTTP Post
  • File upload
  • Cookies
  • URL Encode
  • Templates
  • HTML Special Characters
  • HTML Generation using Functions
  • HTML Generation using Classes
  • CRUD Example (using MVC)
  • Users Example (Register, Login and Check)
  • Deploy web applications in the Cloud
Extensions
  • Extension using C/C++ (Simple API)
  • Embedding in C/C++ projects
  • Comes with binding generator to quickly wrap C/C++ Libraries
  • Network Programming (SDLNet, Libuv, etc.)
  • Create 2D Games (Allegro & LibSDL)
  • Create 3D Games (OpenGL, FreeGLUT, RayLib, Qt3D, etc.)
  • Create GUI Applications for Desktop, WebAssembly and Mobile platforms (Using the Qt Framework)
More
  • Very Stable
  • Good Performance
  • Complete Documentation
  • Many Libraries (Batteries Included)
  • Many Samples (Easy to Learn)
  • Many Applications
  • Hundreds of YouTube Videos
  • Powerful RAD tools (Code Editor, Form Designer, REPL, Debugger, Ring2EXE, Package Manager, etc.)




Beginning Ring Programming

From Novice to Professional

Gain a gentle introduction to the world of Ring programming with clarity as a first concern using a lot of practical examples.






GitHub Resources Team