It’s a metal to meta, open-source toolchain created by Nenad Rakocevic, directly inspired by Rebol (designed by Carl Sassenrath of Amiga OS fame), and actively developed as an open-source project since 2011.
Bootstrapped in Rebol, to prove that the language was capable of self-hosting, high level Red code compiles to low level Red/System code, which compiles directly to machine code. No C compiler or assembler is needed.
The entire toolchain, including a full cross compiler and reactive GUI system, is in a single EXE just over 1MB in size. Drop it in a folder and go. Compile to any platform, from any platform. Red depends only on your OS; the same goes for what you build.
Make standalone EXEs, or compile the runtime to be used externally and called into from other languages. Need C speed? Write your app in Red/System (EXEs as small as 7K), or inline Red/System code just for performance critical sections.
As one example, you write dates like this:
1517385600 for those of you wearing an epoch seconds watch. What?
Nobody? That’s what we thought. As programmers, we are so used to the pain
most languages inflict on us, that we can’t even see there could be a
We spend a lot of time on design, taking a long view. Human time is more valuable than machine time. You win because Red can be more efficient while also providing a better user experience.
One EXE. Drop it on your system and go.
Red only uses what your OS provides.
Built right in; Red syntax in an eDSL.
Supports help and autocomplete.
Legacy syntax models don't support things we use all the time.
Around 50 of them. Many have direct lexical forms.
Code is data. Red's ancestor, Rebol, was designed as a messaging language. Red is great even if used only as a data interchange format.
You shouldn't have to manage memory.
Words and context are central elements.
Declarative dataflow model; works on objects and GUI elements.
Values are strongly typed, variables are not.
Works at both the string and Red value level. e.g., you can parse by datatype.
Fully hygienic; compile time or runtime.
Android coming soon (experimental now)
Compile to machine code; no C or ASM needed.
Call into the Red runtime from C or other langs.
Compile to any platform, from any platform.
Red/System is a C-level dialect of Red; built-in.
Informed by many models. One size does not fit all.
Rethought from the ground up, for the modern world.
A CLI lib like no other.