Last update Sun Feb 4 12:10:26 2007

D Programming Language

"It seems to me that most of the "new" programming languages fall into one of two categories: Those from academia with radical new paradigms and those from large corporations with a focus on RAD and the web. Maybe it's time for a new language born out of practical experience implementing compilers." -- Michael

"Great, just what I need.. another D in programming." -- Segfault

D is a systems programming language. Its focus is on combining the power and high performance of C and C++ with the programmer productivity of modern languages like Ruby and Python. Special attention is given to the needs of quality assurance, documentation, management, portability and reliability.

D is statically typed, and compiles direct to native code. It's multiparadigm: supporting imperative, object oriented, and template metaprogramming styles. It's a member of the C syntax family, and its look and feel is very close to C++'s. For a quick feature comparison, see this comparison of D with C, C++, C# and Java.

It is not governed by a corporate agenda or any overarching theory of programming. The needs and contributions of the D programming community form the direction it goes.

There are currently two implementations, the Digital Mars DMD package for Win32 and x86 Linux, and the GCC D Compiler package for several platforms, including Windows and Mac OS X.

A large and growing collection of D source code and projects are at dsource. More links to innumerable D wikis, libraries, tools, media articles, etc. are at dlinks.

This document is available as a pdf, as well as in Japanese and Portugese translations. A Japanese book D Language Perfect Guide is available.

This is an example D program illustrating some of the capabilities:

#!/usr/bin/dmd -run
/* sh style script syntax is supported */

/* Hello World in D
   To compile:
     dmd hello.d
   or to optimize:
     dmd -O -inline -release hello.d

import std.stdio;

void main(char[][] args)
    writefln("Hello World, Reloaded");

    // auto type inference and built-in foreach
    foreach (argc, argv; args)
        // Object Oriented Programming
        CmdLin cl = new CmdLin(argc, argv);
        // Improved typesafe printf
        writefln(cl.argnum, cl.suffix, " arg: %s", cl.argv);
        // Automatic or explicit memory management
        delete cl;

    // Nested structs and classes
    struct specs
        // all members automatically initialized
        int count, allocated;

    // Nested functions can refer to outer
    // variables like args
    specs argspecs()
        specs* s = new specs;
        // no need for '->'
        s.count = args.length;		   // get length of array with .length
        s.allocated = typeof(args).sizeof; // built-in native type properties
        foreach (argv; args)
            s.allocated += argv.length * typeof(argv[0]).sizeof;
        return *s;

    // built-in string and common string operations
    writefln("argc = %d, " ~ "allocated = %d",
	argspecs().count, argspecs().allocated);

class CmdLin
    private int _argc;
    private char[] _argv;

    this(int argc, char[] argv)	// constructor
        _argc = argc;
        _argv = argv;

    int argnum()
        return _argc + 1;

    char[] argv()
        return _argv;

    char[] suffix()
        char[] suffix = "th";
        switch (_argc)
          case 0:
            suffix = "st";
          case 1:
            suffix = "nd";
          case 2:
            suffix = "rd";
        return suffix;

Note: all D users agree that by downloading and using D, or reading the D specs, they will explicitly identify any claims to intellectual property rights with a copyright or patent notice in any posted or emailed feedback sent to Digital Mars.