D is static, compiled language influenced by C++. It was created by Walter Bright, author of the first C++ compiler to compile directly to machine code.
D has an imperative core, but is a multi-paradigm language that includes support for object-orientated, functional, and generic programming.
NOTE: This article will deal with D2, the latest but still-in-development version)
- Fast language, with performance comparable to C++ while still being garbage collected by default.
- Interfaces well with C libraries, without writing boilerplate or using a foreign function interface, though cannot import headers unmodified - see http://www.digitalmars.com/d/2.0/htomodule.html
- Has a modern module system, no need to write header files or deal with a preprocessor.
- Syntax is familiar to C, C++, C#, Java etc programmers.
- Supports the functional programming paradigm better than other C-like languages, with features such as closures, delegates, transitive immutability, higher order functions, anonymous functions, and the ability to write compiler enforced pure functions.
- D2 tries to do the template metaprogramming thing, which C++ supports without really meaning to, in a way that's actually sane to use.
- DMD, the official compiler, is very fast, typically an order of magnitude faster than gcc for C/C++.
- Paucity of tools such as IDE's, editor support, debuggers etc compared to more popular languages.
- Documentation is scarce and incomplete (though this is somewhat offset by the knowledgeable community)
- The language is still in development so has some rough edges.
- DMD, the official compiler, has no 64-bit support.
- The community is divided between the stable but inactive D1 and the incompatible and still somewhat unstable D2.
- DMD (official compiler) - http://www.digitalmars.com/d/2.0/dmd-windows.html
- GDC (for GCC backend, includes support for 64 bit) - http://bitbucket.org/goshawk/gdc/wiki/Home
- LDC (for LLVM backend, includes support for 64 bit) - http://www.dsource.org/projects/ldc