Aviva Directory » Computers & Internet » Programming » Prolog » Ciao

In this portion of our guide to computer programming languages, we'll focus on Ciao, a general-purpose programming language in the Prolog family.

While Ciao first appeared forty years ago, in 1984, it continues to be under active development and maintenance on GitHub, and is available under the GPL and LGPL licenses.

Among its key features is constraint logic programming. Ciao embraces the core strengths of Prolog, supporting the ISO-Prolog standard, allowing programmers to express complex relationships and constraints declaratively.

Ciao extends Prolog to offer meta-programming, higher-order functions, concurrency, and other features, lending the flexibility to tackle diverse problem domains.

Ciao's syntax and semantics can be extended further by user-defined packages that enhance expressiveness and allow seamless interaction with foreign code.

Ciao builds upon the logic-based simple kernel, designed to be portable, extensible, and modular.

Ciao facilitates large-scale development through modularization, allowing for the organization of code into reusable modules and bundles. Ciao unifies static and dynamic verification using assertions, which ensures robustness and correctness.

Among the design goals of Ciao were declarative power (leveraging Prolog's elegance for logical reasoning, practicality (bridging the gap between theory and real-world applications), extensibility (allowing users to define their own language extensions), and modularity (encouraging well-structured, maintainable code).

Although Ciao's greatest influences were from Prolog, it also incorporates ideas from other languages, like Constraint Handling Rules (CHR) and functional programming.

Ciao's strengths include its declarative nature, which simplifies complex problems. User packages and modular design promote flexibility, and its seamless integration with foreign code is an additional strength.

Prolog's unique paradigm, carried over into Ciao, can be challenging for newcomers, and its adoption is more specialized due to its focus on logical programming.

Ciao's applications include artificial intelligence, software verification, and web development. Ciao can run natively or even in a browser without installation.

Ciao extends Prolog with additional features, making it more versatile, and it shares some similarities with CHR, particularly in constraint handling.

Ciao stands at the intersection of logic, pragmatism, and extensibility.



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