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29 May 2013, 17:02

Elm language update sets out to "improve everything"

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Elm screenshot
Zoom Interacting with Elm in the browser with editor and compiler and pong.

Elm, the Functional Reactive Programming (FRP) language, has been refreshed to "Improve Everything" in an effort dubbed Elm 0.8. FRP allows developers to use a functional language design to react to graphical and interactive events, rather than event processing. Elm code compiles into HTML, CSS and JavaScript code.

With Elm 0.8, the Elm language can be directly embedded into an HTML <div> element and driven by JavaScript. Elm 0.8 also sees the introduction of type annotations and alias to the language, though the use of types is not required in Elm.

Elm 0.8 has become more useful with a new Graphics.input library which allows dynamically created and programatically updated text boxes, buttons and checkboxes. Elm creator Evan Czaplicki offers a video of a forthcoming ToDo application in Elm as an example of what can be done with the new functionality.

Other enhancements include an improved 2D graphics API, faster function currying and data structure, inline documentation in the online editor, and experimental WebSocket support. Consult the Elm download page for information on how to install the BSD-licensed Elm compiler or server or get at the source code, which is written in Haskell. An interactive editor is also available online with examples for beginners and intermediate users.


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