The most popular “Hello World” sample ever!

The new development environment that Microsoft is working on for Microsoft Dynamics NAV Extensions, is a hot topic for us NAV developers. If you didn’t hear about it, well, it has been discussed over the various conferences during the last “conference season”, and Arend-Jan blogged about it extensively.

Very recently, Microsoft released a sneak preview on how the new development language (“AL” – although, even the future name is not decided yet..) is going to look like. They did that by releasing a piece of code – a “Hello World” extension, what else 😉 – on github, which can be found here: . From the moment it was published, it was all over social media. Lots of tweets, facebook messages, blogs, … a lot of excitement … for a hello world example in a development language that doesn’t even exist yet. Go figure. 🙂

Some stats

When you think of it .. this particular “hello world” code sample must end up in the Guinness Book of Records! It must be! I just can’t imagine a Hello World sample, in a non-existing language, on github, with more than:

  • 20 forks – people that are actively contributing to the sample
  • 56 commits – updates from various people
  • 25 pull requests

Just have a look at the “Network” (and don’t forget to scroll left and right :-)):

Part 1

Part 2

How insane is that .. for a bloody “Hello World” sample, and I repeat: in a development environment that doesn’t even exist yet (the contributors weren’t even able to compile the code!)?

How come?

Well, it’s not all that surprising. The current language is up for renewal – it has been for a looooong time. And the current path Microsoft is taking (Dynamics 365, AppSource, Extensions, Apps, Solutions Apps, …) .. is “forcing” them to take this development environment very seriously. And from what we can see – it’s looking good and very promising – though, a LOT of work ahead (as you can imagine)!

It’s a good sign that the development-world of Microsoft Dynamics NAV do already take it serious, and are clearly looking forward to having it. As mentioned in other blogs, there is going to be a preview at Christmas – and I know for a fact that a lot of us can’t even wait that long .. which might be the reason why there are already people contributing to a simple sample like this. Me personally, I couldn’t help myself .. and wanted to do my piece :-).

Is this really the most popular “Hello World” on github ever?

Well, no. Not even by far. That was just meant to be a joke. Here is a simple search on GitHub that shows you there are many other: Like this one with PhoneGap, which has an insane amount of 6895 forks :-).

But let’s not forget – I mentioned it three times – this is about a language that doesn’t exist yet. So in a way, yes, it must be the most popular “Hello World” of a non-existing language on github ever published (if not “the only”) :-). Also don’t forget: The team of Microsoft Dynamics NAV has put it on there for us to evaluate, talk about it, make noise, get people ready .. . Big thanks for that!

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  1. I disagree, the current language is NOT “up for renewal” – What is new, is a development environment incl. compiler, and a change from the .TXT format, with crazy indention and lack of unicode, to the new .AL container format.

    The language stays the same.

      • waldo on December 7, 2016 at 7:02 am

      Well, you are most probably very right on that one. I was never good at semantics .. and I’m not trying to be. This was by the way just meant to be a fun post..
      But when I see a new compiler, new syntax, new statements, new environment, .. and even the name is on the table to change … then it sure smells like a new language. 🙂
      But who am I to talk .. in my opinion, even “Flemish” is a language (apart from Dutch). :p

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