A programming language for live coding
C++ Makefile Lua VimL C JavaScript
Latest commit 425b4a3 Sep 8, 2015 @andyfischer Hiatus notice


Hiatus Notice - Nov 2015

Hi all. This project has had extremely slow development for the past year, so I'm calling it, it's officially on hiatus. With two darling kids in my life, it's tough to find the time for such an ambitious project.

I will probably take another stab at building a system like this, maybe a few years from now, and I think most of this codebase will be rewritten with lessons learned.

In the meantime I'm hacking away on a new project which is intended to be a foundation for any future language projects.

Thanks for following and keep coding,



Circa is a programming language designed for live coding. Most programming languages focus on improving what you can express, with Circa we focus on improving how you create code.


  • Static typing with pervasive 'any' type.
  • Immutable values by default, backed by persistent data structures.
  • Simple type inference.
  • Supports closures.
  • Builtin types include: lists, maps, strings, colors, points, rectangles.
  • Memory model that avoids global garbage collection
  • Clean syntax resembling Python or Ruby.
  • Has a builtin module system.
  • Code can be inspected and modified at runtime.
  • State is a first-class entity, and is declared inline with code.
  • Has best-effort support for state migration across arbitrary code changes.
  • Builtin support for various methods of live modification, including automatic reloading of source text files.
  • Simple C API, supports extending and embedding.


  • Implemented in portable C++.
  • Small number of external dependencies.
  • Cross-platform. Primary platform is OSX.

Current status

This project is currently alpha-level. Curious people, or people interested in hacking along, are welcome to try it out. People who want to use it for serious projects, or people who don't like bugs, are recommended to wait for a beta release.


To build everything, just run "make" (requires GNU Make and GCC)

For more information, see BUILDING.txt .

Directory layout

3rdparty/ - External dependencies.

build/ - Created during build process, contains all build artifacts.

docs/ - Documentation.

include/ - Public include files. This is the directory to add to your include dirs.

notes/ - Miscellaneous notes and plan files.

src/ - Source code.

src/ca/ - Builtin Circa scripts.

src/unit_tests/ - C++ based unit tests.

tests/ - Script-based tests.

tools/ - Tools used for development of Circa itself.


Refer to the /docs folder.


Unless otherwise specified, the contents of this project are freely available to the public under the MIT license. See the LICENSE file for more information.


Andy Fischer - reachable on Github as 'andyfischer'