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What Is Ethereum’s Viper Coding Language?

Solidity is the main coding language for everything related to Ethereum. Although it is not the most convenient language to learn, let alone master, it does allow developers from all over the world to pick it up pretty quickly. However, there is also the Viper language, which has undergone some major breakthroughs lately. It is doubtful Viper will ever replace Solidity as Ethereum’s main coding language, but that does not mean it is a useless project right now. In fact, the roadmap features outlined by its team are quite promising.

Viper is a Coding Language With Potential

 

Most non-developers will likely have never heard of the Viper project, which should not come as a big surprise. After all, everyone associates Ethereum-based coding with Solidity, which is the primary programming language for this particular ecosystem. Solidity is not that easy to pick up when it comes to more advanced features, but it is still quite approachable for aspiring developers and people who want to build great Ethereum applications. However, Solidity is not the only coding language one should be paying attention to these days.

Viper is a project created by the Ethereum team around 10 months ago. Although its GitHub repository is not as well-maintained as Solidity’s, there is a lot of merit to this coding language. Granted, it is an experimental programming language and should always be treated as such. It has some interesting features, including decidability, support for signing integers, and bounds and overflow checking. All of these features provide value to developers all over the world. Moreover, it is an alternative way to start building projects for the Ethereum ecosystem in the future.

 

That being said, the development of Viper is not being funded all that well right now. It is more of a voluntary project than anything else, although it still has commits made to it on a regular basis. It is certainly not designed to replace Solidity now or in the future, even though some users may feel it certainly has the potential to do so in the long run. However, the Viper language is far from complete and there is still a lot of work to be done. Still, it is a great coding language that should not be overlooked by anyone.

The project is receiving more contributions from outside developers than ever before. This further confirms there is a genuine interest in the development of this coding language, although there is no official timeline to ensure the programming language ever gets “finished.” It is possible Viper may never become a proper programming language to the degree that Solidity is, but it has some features that will attract certain types of contributors regardless.

Viper does not allow for the calling of methods or other smart contracts. That in itself is a major limiting factor as to how useful this coding language is right now. These features will be added eventually, although that may take a few years or perhaps even longer. Without tools, tutorials, or non-basic examples to go by, venturing into the language of Viper may prove to be quite challenging even to the more experienced coders out there. Then again, having multiple options is never a bad thing, especially when it comes to programming languages.

Last but not least, there is a small development roadmap for Viper moving forward. Declaring external contracts ABIs and calling to external contracts is a main priority. The team will also focus on smart optimization of different natures. It is good to see Ethereum users have several coding languages to choose from, even though one has a lot more potential compared to the other right now. In a few years, Viper may well have become the go-to coding language for Ethereum.

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About Satoshi Nakamoto

Satoshi Nakamoto is my pseudo identity i used to design bitcoin and create its original reference implementation. As part of the implementation, i also devised the first blockchain database. In the process i also solved the double-spending problem for digital currency.

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