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New NSA-Funded Code Rolls All Programming Languages Into One 306

An anonymous reader writes "What's your favorite programming language? Is it CSS? Is it JavaScript? Is it PHP, HTML5, or something else? Why choose? A new programming language developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University is all of those and more — one of the world's first "polyglot" programming languages. Sound cool? It is, except its development is partially funded by the National Security Agency, so let's look at it with a skeptical eye. It's called Wyvern — named after a mythical dragon-like thing that only has two legs instead of four — and it's supposed to help programmers design apps and websites without having to rely on a whole bunch of different stylesheets and different amalgamations spread across different files.
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New NSA-Funded Code Rolls All Programming Languages Into One

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  • Wyvern = Wyrm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 10, 2014 @06:55PM (#47643981)

    Why? What's the worst that could happen? What's the best?

    Why is the NSA interested in something like that directly? What is the potential for abuse?

    Is it to make code analysis that much more centralized and (supposedly) simple?

    Why didn't this come up with itself before now?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 10, 2014 @07:02PM (#47644005)

    Hate to break it to you, but HTML5 and CSS are not programming languages.

  • Compiler virus (Score:5, Interesting)

    by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Sunday August 10, 2014 @07:02PM (#47644009) Homepage Journal

    Wasn't there some discussion on how effective a special, compiler-embedded virus would be? This seems like a good candidate for that.

  • Which behaviour? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NotInHere ( 3654617 ) on Sunday August 10, 2014 @07:24PM (#47644167)
    This program is valid C and, when saved as "", valid java code. Compilation with the C compiler results in a program that doesn't behave the same way if it were compiled with java:

    #include "stdio.h"
    public class test2 {

    public static
    void main //\
    (int argc, char *argv[])//*/
      System.out.printf("hi, I'm java\n");/*
      printf("hi, I'm C\n");//*/

  • The standard NSA tatctic for introducing security holes into a system is to obfuscate things so that holes are hard to spot and find. SELinux is probably such a system, and this polglot language -- which effectviely makes debugging impossible -- is likely another.

  • Re: Wyvern = Wyrm (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 11, 2014 @01:54AM (#47645207)

    Not impressed. The OP obviously doesn't understand a thing about programming languages in general, or programming as an activity in particcular. Or he would know that the use of multiple files, and multiple languages, is a means to an end, not a nuisance. Namely to manage complexity, and to use the most appropriate level of abstraction to solve a particular problem. If he'd know he would not claim that wyvern is a polyglot language, but that it is a meta language to create internal DSLs, domain specific languages. So if anything it is a tool to create new languages, as oppose to to eliminate existing ones as by his claim. Poor sod

If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. -- Albert Einstein