A new article is online
This time, it’s an interview with Scott McKinney, the creator of Manifold, a plugin that supplements Java with powerful features. In this interview, we’ll try to figure out more about his work.
Here there are some quotes I found particularly interesting:
We built the rules engine, and it was very successful. And then that led to “Well, maybe we can use this over here. Maybe we can use that over there”. And one thing led to another, and one day you wake up and you have a general purpose language.
Manifold is a plug-in that offers an SPI, which is a service plug-in interface, and API for other people to plug in. So, if you want to write an XML or an XSD Manifold you can do that. Now, all XSD files, all XML files, they suddenly all are alive in your IDE, and there’s nothing more you have to do. All the changes you make are automatically recognized.
Other languages, like C-Sharp, Scala, Kotlin, a lot of the newcomers, they have extension methods. You can add your own method, logically anyway, to another type. Well, Manifold does that now, using the same general principle here. (…) . It’s basically a projection of code that the compiler believes is the types code. And then, you’re just sort of faking out the compiler that it thinks that method is on a clash, but it never really gets there, in terms of byte code on disc. It’s just a façade. And then internally Manifold rewrites the byte code to make it call this other thing that you invented.