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This is a very early version of a programming language I'm currently working on.

It produces machine code and ELF binaries directly without using an external assembler or compiler.


git clone
cd q
go build

This will produce the q compiler in your current directory.

./q build examples/hello



  • No binary dependencies (not even libc)
  • No compiler dependencies (no LLVM, no GCC, ...)
  • No global state (all mutable variables are local)
  • No classes or methods: There is just a) data and b) functions that can operate on data
  • No name shadowing, names never change their meaning
  • No side effects when importing a package


  • Fast compilation (<1 ms for simple programs)
  • Small binaries ("Hello World" is 247 bytes)
  • High performance (compete with C and Rust)
  • Contracts (reduce bugs at run time)
  • Testing (reduce bugs at test time)
  • Linting (reduce bugs at compile time)
  • Format source code
  • Packages should be highly reusable
  • Statically typed with type inference
  • User-friendly compiler messages



  • Tokenizer
  • Scanner
  • Parallel function compiler
  • Error messages
  • Expression parser
  • Function calls
  • Infinite loop
  • Simple for loops
  • Simple if conditions
  • Syscalls
  • Detect pure functions
  • Immutable variables
  • Mutable variables via mut
  • Variable lifetime tracking
  • return values
  • import standard packages
  • Exclude unused functions
  • require for input validation
  • ensure for output validation
  • Data structures
  • Stack allocation
  • Heap allocation
  • Type system
  • Type operator: | (User | Error)
  • Hexadecimal, octal and binary literals
  • match keyword
  • import external packages
  • Error handling
  • Cyclic function calls
  • Multi-threading
  • Lock-free data structures
  • Multiple return values
  • Expression optimization
  • Assembly optimization
  • ...


  • +, -, *, /
  • ==, !=, <, <=, >, >=
  • =
  • +=, -=, *=, /=
  • &=, |=
  • <<=, >>=
  • <<, >>
  • &&, ||
  • &, |
  • %
  • ...


  • Unused variables
  • Unused parameters
  • Unused imports
  • Ineffective assignments
  • ...


  • x86-64
  • WASM
  • ARM
  • ...


  • Linux
  • Mac
  • Windows
  • Browser
  • ...


How do I navigate the source code?

  • benchmarks contains tests for compilation speed
  • build contains the actual compiler source
  • cli contains the command line interface
  • examples contains a few examples that are also used in tests
  • lib contains the standard library

How do I run the tests?

go test -v ./...

How do I run the benchmarks?

go test -run=^$ -bench=. ./...

How do I view the produced assembly output?

Use -v or --verbose:

q build -v examples/loops

How can I make a performance optimized build?

Use -O or --optimize:

q build -O examples/loops

Is the syntax final?

No, the syntax will be changed in the future.

Which builtin functions are available?

There are currently 2 builtin functions, syscall and print. In the future we'd like to remove print so that syscall becomes the only builtin function.

Which editor can I use to edit Q code?

There is a simple VS Code extension with syntax highlighting.

git clone ~/.vscode/extensions/vscode-q

Is there a community for this project?

There is a Discord channel and a Telegram group for sponsors.


Please take a look at the style guidelines if you'd like to make a pull request.


Cedric Fung Scott Rayapoullé Eduard Urbach
Cedric Fung Scott Rayapoullé Eduard Urbach

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