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The Unicon programming language was created by Clint Jeffery, along with Shamim Mohamed, Jafar Al Gharaibeh, and Robert Parlett.

Unicon was built to extend the Icon programming language with a new language, built upon its foundations. The name Unicon stands for "Unified Extended Dialect of Icon."

The goals of the developers were to create a new language that was high-level and object-oriented, network and graphics savvy, and to have goal-direction and backtracking. Unicon aims to be a very high-level language, making it expressive and concise. In that, its syntax resembles Pascal or C, to some extent. Unicon is equipped with features for handling networks and graphics, which makes it suitable for solving complex problems that involve these domains. Inspired by Icon, Unicon retains the features of goal-direction and backtracking, which allows programmers to express solutions in a declarative manner, making it easier to tackle intricate tasks.

While the strongest influences on the language came from Icon, it emerged as a merger of three popular Icon extensions: IDOL (Icon's Object-Oriented Preprocessor, POSIX Filesystem and Networking Interface, and ODBC Facility. IDOL introduced object-oriented capabilities to Icon, laying the groundwork for Unicon's object-oriented support. Unicon inherited a robust filesystem and networking interface from POSIX, and the ODBC (Open Database Connectivity) facility enhanced the language's interaction capabilities.

Compared to Icon, Unicon offers better access to the operating system and extends Icon's capabilities. Its object-oriented features and improved system interaction set it apart.

Its strengths and applications include rapid problem solving, largely due to its expressive syntax and backtracking, and its built-in support for graphics and network simplifies graphics and networking development, while its readability and high-level constructs make it a suitable language for teaching programming concepts.

I was unable to determine when the language was first released, but Unicon gained prominence in the late 1990s and early 2000s and is available as an open-source project covered by a GNU General Public License. It continues to be actively maintained, with an update in October of 2023, as of this writing. This release was for Windows, and included bundled tools like Ulex and IYACC for use with the "Build Your Own Programming Language" (BYOPL) project. The book Build Your Own Programming Language features Unicon as a case study.

The official Unicon programming book in PDF format is a good way to learn Unicon. The book introduces object-oriented development as well as UML, and the use of Unicon for CGI.

In this section of our guide to computer program languages, we are focusing on the Unicon programming language. Online resources for the language, such as official Unicon websites, repositories, tutorials, IDEs, and other tools or utilities designed to facilitate programming in Unicon, as well as developer community websites, forums, or reviews.



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