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Galois Tech Talk: Slava Pestov on the Factor programming language

Galois, Inc
421 SW 6th Ave. Suite 300
Portland, OR 97204, US (map)



Factor is a programming language which has been in development for a little over 5 years. Factor is influenced by Forth, Lisp, Smalltalk. Factor takes the best ideas from Forth — simplicity, short, succint, code, emphasis on interactive testing, and meta-programming. Factor also brings modern high-level language features such as garbage collection, object orientation and functional programming familiar to users of languages such as Lisp, Smalltalk and Python. Finally, recognizing that no programming language is an island, Factor is portable, ships with a full-featured standard library, deploys stand-alone binaries, and interoperates with C and Objective-C.

In this talk, I will give the rationale for Factor’s creation, present an overview of the language, and show how Factor can be used to solve real-world problems with a minimum of fuss. At the same time, I will emphasize Factor’s extensible syntax, meta-programming and reflection capabilities, and show that these features, which are unheard of in the world of mainstream programming languages, make programs easier to write, more robust, and fun.


Slava was born in the former USSR and emigrated to New Zealand at the age of 7. He moved to Ottawa, Canada when he was 18 to study for a Bachelors and Masters degree in Mathematics.  He now resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota. An early adopter of Java, Slava wrote the popular jEdit text editor, then went on to design and implement the Factor programming language. At his day job he hacks on web apps, optimizing compilers, garbage collectors, and everything in between

. Galois has been holding weekly technical seminars for several years on topics from functional programming, formal methods, compiler and language design, to cryptography, and operating system construction, with talks by many figures from the programming language and formal methods communities.

The talks are open and free. If you're planning to attend, dropping a note to is appreciated, but not required. If you're interested in giving a talk, we're always looking for new speakers.