Say Hello To Julia, A New LLVM-Based Project
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software on 9 March 2012 at 11:18 PM EST. 6 Comments
Shared with the LLVM developers on Thursday was an introduction to Julia, a new fast dynamic language with the JIT compiler being built around LLVM. Julia is focused on technical computing, distributed parallel execution, cloud computing, and extensive math abilities.

From the mailing list announcement, "Julia is an open source language for technical computing that strives to be in the same class of productivity as Matlab, R, python+numpy, etc., but targets the performance of C and Fortran. It is due to LLVM that julia has been able to achieve such good performance (in my opinion), with relatively little effort in a short amount of time."

Additional information on the Julia project is available from JuliaLang.org. "Julia is a high-level, high-performance dynamic programming language for technical computing, with syntax that is familiar to users of other technical computing environments. It provides a sophisticated compiler, distributed parallel execution, numerical accuracy, and an extensive mathematical function library. The library, mostly written in Julia itself, also integrates mature, best-of-breed C and Fortran libraries for linear algebra, random number generation, FFTs, and string processing. More libraries continue to be added over time. Julia programs are organized around defining functions, and overloading them for different combinations of argument types (which can also be user-defined)."

Julia is made available under the MIT license and its LLVM-based JIT compiler has delivered some very promising results. Julia is far from being the first to use LLVM for its JIT compiler, with other projects like Mono already heavily relying upon this wonderful compiler infrastructure.

In other LLVM-related news, it appears that the MIPS port to LLVM is in quite good shape. LLVM is most actively being worked on for i686, x86_64, and ARM architectures, but MIPS this week went as far as comparing its LLVM compiler port as to the x86 completeness with this mailing list activity.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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