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This section of our web guide on computer programming languages will focus on Citrine, a general-purpose language for cross-platform operating systems.

Designed and developed by Gabor de Mooij and Aavesh Jilani, the language first appeared in 2014, and as of this writing, it is still under active development, with a new release on January 5, 2024, just over a month ago.

One of the goals of Citrine's developers was for it to be easy to read and maintain, and its minimalistic syntax contributes to this. Beginning with version 0.7, Citrine adopted a focus on supporting native human languages beyond just English, reducing bugs caused by language barriers.

Citrine drew inspiration from Smalltalk and Self. Like Smalltalk, it treats everything as an object and emphasizes sending messages to objects. Unlike Smalltalk, however, Citrine lacks the concept of classes. Its use of prototypes aligns somewhat with JavaScript, but the combination of Smalltalk-like messages and prototypes sets Citrine apart.

In Citrine, everything is an object; communication occurs by sending messages to these objects. Citrine's syntax closely resembles Smalltalk. It supports literals such as Nil, True, False, numbers, strings, and code blocks. Control flow is achieved through message passing. As an example, to check if 5 is even, you would send the message 5 even?. Citrine uses prototypes rather than classes; objects serve as prototypes for creating new ones. No special syntax is necessary with Citrine; just send a non-defined message to a string to replace specified words with arguments. Properties are accessible only within the object itself and its derivatives.

As a general-purpose language, Citrine can be used in several applications, including localization, educational tools, and rapid prototyping.

Citrine's native language support makes it ideal for creating localized applications and games; its simplicity makes it suitable for teaching programming concepts; and its minimalistic syntax allows for quick experimentation and prototyping.

In summary, Citrine's blend of Smalltalk-like messaging and prototype-based design sets it apart, making it a suitable language for exploration and creativity.



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