Crystal Language Reaches 1.0
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Thursday, 25 March 2021

Crystal, a new programming language with a Ruby-like syntax, has reached version 1. The developers say the language syntax is now stable and they have planned maintenance releases. Crystal is a programming language with a syntax similar to Ruby, though Ruby compatibility isn't a goal of the developers.

Crystal is statically type-checked but without having to specify the type of variables or method arguments. It supports calling C code by writing bindings to it in Crystal, and it compiles to effective native code. It also provides compile-time evaluation and generation of code to avoid boilerplate code.


The developers say the decisions on what Crystal should look like came because they love Ruby's efficiency for writing code and C's efficiency for running code, and wanted the best of both worlds.

The main promise of version 1.0 is language stability. The development team said that:

"After this release, everyone can expect that, at least for any future 1.x version, your code can still compile and work without any significant incompatibility. Language and standard library features won’t be removed or changed in any way that could prevent existing code from compiling and working. The built-in standard library will continue to be enriched but always with backward compatibility in mind."

They did say that because the community is having "groundbreaking ideas every day", changes will happen in the future, but that those changes now belong to a separate branch that will eventually become Crystal 2.0.

Changes to the language from the previous version of Crystal include more support for tuples. These allow type-safe accessors with literal indices since the compiler knows which type each component is, and in Crystal 1.0 you can also use tuples with literal ranges.

There are a number of features that aren't supported in version 1.0 because the team isn't confident about their stability. The more important features will be available, just without official support at the moment. These include availability on Windows, the ability to run the Crystal runtime on multiple cores, and ARM support.



More Information

Crystal On GitHub

Crystal Website

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 25 March 2021 )