Crystal 1.2 Improves Cross Platform Support
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Tuesday, 26 October 2021

Crystal 1.2 has been released with improvements to Windows support along with better support for Macs. 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.

crystal

The developers say they're making good progress towards achieving full native Windows support. In particular, this release includes a sockets implementation using the winsock2 API. The team says most IO methods are implemented as overlapped operations based on IO completion ports. The event loop implementation is still missing, and will be replaced by a proper event loop implementation. The socket implementation also has registry access on win32.

The team says they are also doing well on their support for aarch64 platforms, meaning that from this release Crystal includes a universal macOS package that works for x86 and M1 macs.

As part of the work to this release, the developers made a decision to lower the language's support for 32-bit x86 architecture. They say this is a direct consequence of focusing their efforts on more popular platforms. The status of the 32-bit X86 support is that the team still expects to add it at some point, but they won't be shipping i386 packages this time. The reason is that the specs are failing, probably due to the amount of memory they consume. The developers say users can still build it from source.

In language terms, the improvements are minor. It is now possible to assign a subclass of a generic class to an element of the parent class, and macro support has had minor improvements.

Crystal 1.2 is available for download now.

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More Information

Crystal On GitHub

Crystal Website

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