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The release of Julia 1.0 has been eagerly anticipated – but it’s finally here. At JuliaCon2018 in London the team got together to mark the project’s landmark step.

Take a look at the video below:

It’s taken more than six years for Julia to hit this milestone. The language was first launched in February 2012, and since then it has grown slowly to become a popular high-level dynamic programming language.

The projects aims for Julia have been hugely ambitious since the start. As the team said in this post back in 2012:

“We want a language that’s open source, with a liberal license. We want the speed of C with the dynamism of Ruby. We want a language that’s homoiconic, with true macros like Lisp, but with obvious, familiar mathematical notation like Matlab. We want something as usable for general programming as Python, as easy for statistics as R, as natural for string processing as Perl, as powerful for linear algebra as Matlab, as good at gluing programs together as the shell. Something that is dirt simple to learn, yet keeps the most serious hackers happy. We want it interactive and we want it compiled.”

However, despite the level of ambition it hasn’t quite yet managed to expand beyond its core strength: numerical computing. However, that could change with version 1.0.

What new features are in Julia 1.0?

The team behind Julia are keen to stress that Julia 1.0 offers greater stability than the language ever has. They explain in a blog post announcing the new release:

“The single most significant new feature in Julia 1.0, of course, is a commitment to language API stability: code you write for Julia 1.0 will continue to work in Julia 1.1, 1.2, etc. The language is “fully baked.” The core language devs and community alike can focus on packages, tools, and new features built upon this solid foundation.”

There are also many other new features, including:

  • A new built in package manager
  • Simplified scope rules
  • Improved consistency in all of Julia’s APIs
  • A new canonical representation for missing values

You can find out more about the new features here.

Hang on… wasn’t Julia 0.7 just released?

Yes, Julia 0.7 has been released alongside version 1.0. This was done “to provide an upgrade path for packages and code that predates the 1.0 release.” Version 0.7 simply includes deprecation warnings that aren’t included in version 1.0.

How to get started with Julia 1.0

If you’re ready to get started on Julia 1.0 you can download it here. It’s advised that if you’re currently using Julia 0.6 or earlier, you should start with the 0.7 release – the deprecation warnings in Julia 0.7 act as a guide through the upgrade process.

Co-editor of the Packt Hub. Interested in politics, tech culture, and how software and business are changing each other.


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