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A language project at Apple (killed a few years ago), Dylan stands for “Dynamic Language”.

Some of the characteristics of the language are:

It was originally a Lisp variant, but in an effort to be relevant to non-Lisp programmers, Apple changed the syntax. Didn’t help enough to bring loads of new programmers on board. Anyone thinking now about the Objective C “modern syntax” debacle Apple went through? Here’s what the syntax looks like now as seen in a sample dylan implementation:

Example from

Apple Cambridge developed a complete Dylan IDE (“AppleDylan”) in MCL. AppleDylan had some very nice features: incremental compilation, a source-code “repository” instead of files, ubiquitous module system, automatic C interfaces, integrated debugger with dynamic code updating, and a very nice browser (shown above).

Apple’s storied history with dynamic languages includes MCL, SmallTalk80, SK8, ScriptX, NewtonScript, and (now) ObjectiveC.

Dylan still has its fans. There are various implementations available. Start searching at these links:

– TimGogolin – Dustin Voss added links