Introducing Nzym: A White Paper on the Programming Language that Will Revolutionize Multimedia
Published on 12 Aug 2023
Number myInteger = 10;
Methods are called on objects by using the dot notation. For example, to call the Add method on an object of type Number, you would write the following:
myInteger.Add = 6;// If the value of myInteger was equal to 10 before, it will now be 16
It is also important to note that the semicolon (;) is used to terminate all statements and a comment is created by using two forward slashes (//) and usually a space after.
- Number – will store integers, floats or a mix of the two
- String – stores characters and can be used for more complex expressions
- Boolean – a binary type storing true or false
- Group – an array of objects, used to create and define more complex elements
- Link – a unique type that can be void or that directs to a function
Classes & Methods
String name= No Name;
Number age = 18;Method ShowName;
Function GetPerson = String;
Person randomPerson;randomPerson.name = A Stranger;randomPerson.ShowName;
The code above creates a Class called Person and instantiates the properties of name and age, setting them up with default variables. Also in Person is a method which will print out the name of the given Person Class. The function GetPerson has a return type of String and actually creates a new Person and prints their name to the screen given the method from the Person class.
Class SuperHero = Person;
Group superpowers = (Laser eyes, Super strength, Flight);
Number activePower = 1;Method PowerInUse;
The SuperHero class will have access to all the properties and methods of the Person class, as well.
Nzym: A simple, object-oriented, interpreted, imperative, multiplatform, high-performance, multithreaded, and dynamic language.
Many programming language systems use a set of standard keywords that characterize them, set forth according to their paradigms, typing discipline, and the problems which the language aims to solve. We use these keywords, which here we are referring to as buzzwords, to describe Nzym and introduce the core founding heart of its structure and ecosystem.
Sadomba-Mahari Computers (Private) Limited (or simply SM), the company behind the development of Nzym, entered the web development industry in 2010, about a few months since they had been registered, as well as dabbled in the making of specialized software for the local film industry in Zimbabwe. About a few years later, they also began to develop mobile applications targeted at higher-end mobile phones on the Android, Windows Phone, and iOS platforms. The indented italicized portions below seek to give a narrative of the issues faced by SM and to give examples of the keywords of Nzym presented.
Type nameOfType = value;nameOfType.MethodOfType = value2;Class NameOfClass = InheritFrom;Function NameOfFx = ReturnType;Method NameOfMethod = ReturnType;
Removing the rarely used, poorly understood, confusing features of C++ and removing the sometimes-confusing aspects of the C type syntax, which for many has been the cause of a lot of pain and grief, a simpler language was born.
In the beginning, SM employed only three full-time programmers, two of whom were interns hired from the university. The greatest challenge that was presented to them was to be able to create and replicate static websites, tailor-made for various types of clients but narrowing down production time. Obviously, stylesheets were going to be different from project to project but there were elements that were going to exist in every project and that would exist in all projects especially navigation, footer widgets, the home page, contact page, an about page, and a page for highlighting products and showing portfolios. A simpler way to prototype and produce needed to be possible…
Another aspect of being simple is visually portable. One of the goals of Nzym is to enable the creation of media applications that can run on any platform and maintain their visual look and appeal. The use of cascading stylesheets and web technology elements to create standard visual displays became a core target feature for Nzym development. The way a screen looks in a browser, in a mobile application, and in a desktop application will be the same or, at the very least, will be uniform in look and feel across all platforms.
The object-oriented facilities of Nzym are essentially those of most C-type languages that came before it but with a different syntax and much more relaxed rules. Nzym script files are the key objects of a Nzym project and within them, they can contain classes that are treated as objects as well.
When working on a website, the team at SM knew they were always going to need to recreate common elements like the contact form or a drop-down menu but with some modifications as requested by the client. As they dealt mostly with creating static websites, it seemed to be a good idea if there was a way in which they could group these common elements into separate files for easy importing into a project, as and when they were needed, with minor modifications for the client. For example, changes in color, addition or removal of certain fields from a form, or the inclusion of icons on the menu.
The team at SM would use Bootstrap or an in-house boilerplate that existed at the time to recreate and generate different types of websites. However, these code blocks had a lot of disadvantages, especially when displaying on different devices and older browsers.
A key goal of the process of interpretation for Nzym has also been to create products that work on any device, across any platform, not only maintaining visual portability, but the same functionality and performance as well.
One difficulty in the work of the team at SM was having to pinpoint where to put elements they were reusing in every project. One website would have a menu system located at the top of the page above the header, and another would have a menu below the header. Sometimes the menu would be placed in the header, among other header elements and at times it was apart. Knowing where to position the clump of code with the menus was then a task that required a lot of care and if one walked away for a while from their project, it was always difficult to resume. It was equally jarring if someone needed to take over an ongoing project from another person, not being able to tell where the project was going and what had been done just at a glance.
Imperative programming for Nzym makes the language easy to learn as there is a clear control flow that can be displayed, giving the user more power to change modify and optimize the program. This also creates more efficiency in the sense that the programmer can tell the computer program exactly what to do. On the procedural side, there is the advantage of modularity as a program can be broken down into smaller reusable procedures, and these may also be reusable in other programs. Debugging is also much simpler because of the imperative paradigm.
While the work on the websites was the bread and butter of SM, there was another big project of which SM became a part of, and that involved work on a multimedia software package called AVisPar (the African Visual Package). AVisPar was a set of software programs and tools for creating 3D visualizations, films, games, game assets, and visual effects. What was to be unique about AVisPar was its ability to make use of a graphics card to produce high-quality 3D renders and save them to disk almost in real-time. AVisPar was also developed to work, not only on the most common commercial desktop operating systems but also on some Linux distributions as well.
The latest implementation of Nzym and Nzym Console was created using Rust and henceforth has inherited additional high-performance characteristics from the language since the Rust compiler was able to optimize the code for speed. Additionally, the Rust standard library provides a number of efficient algorithms and data structures that were used in the creation of the current build of Nzym. To give a brief outline of what this means for Nzym programs:
- Memory safety: Rust's ownership system ensures that memory is always managed correctly, which can prevent memory leaks and crashes. This can lead to significant performance improvements, as Nzym does not have to spend time managing memory manually.
- Efficiency: Rust's compiler is very good at optimizing code for speed. This means that Nzym Console is able to run as fast as possible, even on complex tasks.
AVisPar was a unique project for the team at SM to work on. It allowed for a lot of experimentation in terms of how to create the solutions involved but there was one huge problem that the team faced and that one was to do with handling simultaneous events. The initial code base of AVisPar had been written in C++ along with some libraries from other 3D game engines such as Irrlicht which were included. The 3D game engine Irrlicht in particular did have some multithreading functionality that was easy to use and adapt for running various processes on a single machine. However, running multiple threads on a network with various CPUs and graphics processing units involved, the threads became really difficult and complicated to handle.
From the beginning of 2011, and all throughout the year until the end of 2012, SM experienced an increase in customers requiring their services to develop mobile applications for them. SM made use of Java in creating apps for smartphones of that time that supported Java, including Android phones that were gaining a lot of market share at that time. The problem became that the code for these platforms, although written in the same language, they were not and could not be the same. The visual presentation was not portable and the functionality greatly differed, as well as the libraries used in development.
Java was once the go-to language for developing mobile languages but has lost ground in recent years to newer languages, such as Kotlin and Swift. The main issues with Java were and remain
- Performance: Java is not as performant as some of the newer languages, which can lead to slower apps.
- Complexity: Java is a complex language, which can make it difficult to learn and use.
- Fragmentation: There are many different versions of Java, which can make it difficult to develop apps that work on all devices.
While Java remains popular for developing mobile applications, due to its ecosystem of libraries and tools, support by many vendors, and its maturity, newer languages are gaining ground. With the initiative of Nzym to follow the path and make it easier, better, and faster to create and port applications to as many devices as possible with a single code base being the goal, Nzym is undoubtedly a language to watch as it fires towards this target.
- Prebuilt libraries for easier and faster app creation
- More powerful classes and objects
- A better debugger
- A simple but more user-friendly IDE