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This project is pretty much abandoned. It's too much work to keep up with the changing LLVM APIs

Tranquil is a programming language built on top of LLVM & the Objective-C Runtime.

It aims to provide a more expressive & easy to use way to write Mac and iOS Apps.

It's features include:

  • Compatibility with C/ObjC headers, meaning that there is no need to create special bindings for C APIs.
  • Automatic memory management.
  • Line by line debugging. (Using LLDB or GDB) — still under development, but breaking on, and stepping over source lines is supported
  • Dynamic Typing.
  • Language level concurrency support.
  • String interpolation.
  • Multiple assignment.
  • Message cascading.
  • Unlimited number range.
  • Unicode through&through (変数=123 works fine)
  • Good performance, even at this extremely early stage.
  • And more..

However, Tranquil is still extremely experimental and you shouldn't use it for anything other than exploration and learning.

How to build and run

The simplest way of getting started is to use the binary installer. Everything will be placed into /usr/local/tranquil (Requires Xcode 5.1 to be installed)

If you wish to contribute, you can use the install script instead which checks out the latest source and sets up the development environment.

> curl -fsSkL | /bin/zsh
> /usr/local/tranquil/bin/tqrepl

Note: OS X ≥ 10.7 or iOS ≥ 5 is required to run compiled tranquil programs. 10.9 is required to compile.

Learning the language

To learn more about Tranquil you should read the specification and check out the tests.

You can also talk to me directly by visiting #tranquil on

And here're a couple of examples:

Print a Mandelbrot fractal

mandelbrot = { x, y, bailout=16, maxIter=1000 |
    cr, ci = y-0.5, x
    zi, zr = 0
    maxIter times: {
        temp = zr*zi
        zr2, zi2 = zr^2, zi^2
        zr = zr2 - zi2 + cr
        zi = 2*temp + ci
        ^^no if zi2 + zr2 > bailout
(-1 to: 1 withStep: 1/40) each: { y |
    (-1 to: 1 withStep: 1/40) each: { x |
        (mandelbrot(x, y) ? #● ! #◦) printWithoutNl
    #"" print

Iterate an array

alternatives = ["Objective-C", "Ruby", "Nu", "Perl", "Python"]
alternatives each: `alternative | "Tranquil is nicer than «alternative»" print`
"Or so I hope at least." print


sum = (0 to: 1000000) reduce: `obj, accum=0 | obj+accum`

Do two things at the same time

a = async foo()
b = bar()
whenFinished {
    "a is «a» and b is: «b»" print

Chain messages (Without having to return self from every method you write)

var = Character new setName: "Deckard"; setOccupation: "Blade Runner"; self

Do multiple assignment

a, b = b, a  \ Swap b&a

Return non-locally

a = {
    b = {
a() print \ This prints '123'

Calculate fibonacci numbers (In a not-so-performant manner)

fib = `n | n > 1 ? fib(n-1) + fib(n-2) ! n`
fib(10) print

Make a database query (Using DatabaseKit)

import "DatabaseKit"
db = DB withURL: "sqlite://data/database.sqlite"
query = db[#aTable] select: #field; where: { #anotherField => aValue }
val   = query[#field]

\ We can write that more concisely as:
val   = table[{ #anotherField => aValue }][#field]

Create a Web Server (Using HTTPKit)

import "HTTPKit"
HTTP new handleGet: "/"
              with: `connection| "Hello World!"`;
      listenOnPort: 8080
           onError: `"Unable to start server" print`

Evaluate a regular expression

"Foobar starts with foo." print if /foo[a-z]+/i matches: "Foobar"

Use the OpenGL & GLUT APIs

import "GLUT" \ This simply reads in your GLUT.h header. No bindings are required.

GlutInit(0, nil)
GlutInitWindowSize(640, 480)
GlutInitWindowPosition(200, 200)
GlutCreateWindow("Tranquil is cool as beans!")

GlClearColor(0, 0, 0, 0)
GlScalef(0.4, 0.4, 0.4)

    GlRotatef(0.1, 0, 1, 0)
    GlColor3f(0, 1, 0)
    GlColor3f(1, 1, 1)

lastX, lastY = 0
GlutMotionFunc({ x, y |
    dx, dy = lastX - x, lastY - y
    GlRotatef(dx, 0, 1, 0)
    GlRotatef(dy, 1, 0, 0)
    lastX, lastY = x, y



A language built on top of the Objective-C runtime, and ABI compatible with Objective-C.




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