Discover more from Poly
Creating a new programming language for the web
What if web programming were reimagined from the ground up?
I believe there must be a better way to create content on the web. A programming language that understands the web’s different technologies and unifies them in an elegant fashion. Making a new programming language is a daunting endeavor that may or may not pan out, but I’m steadfast that this kind of language should exist. I’ve even come up with a name for the language I hope to create: Poly — short for polyglot.
This publication is a way to document the challenge: creating a new programming language from scratch. I aim to make this write-up easy and accessible, as understandable as possible. Even if you don’t know any programming languages, I hope it can be valuable. And the end product I hope is much simpler to learn than the existing web stack, even if you have no experience as a web developer.
Writing about my process is also an exercise in accountability. I’ve tried creating Poly as a side project since at least 2016. I have a full-time job that I love working for in journalism technology, but I think this is the most valuable use of my time outside of work. Creating a language isn’t so straightforward nor is there any universally agreed upon approach. I can’t guarantee things will move quickly or go smoothly. This is not my first iteration trying to create Poly, and may not be my last. But I’ve learned a lot since I’ve started — about programming languages, design, project management, user experience, and so on — that I hope to share as I go. And all the code I produce will be made open source.
If this sounds interesting to you, feel free to subscribe below so you don’t miss the next issue. And I want to emphasize that throughout this process, I welcome any comments, criticisms, concerns, or collaborations.