The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Digital Economy Research Institute (hereinafter referred to as “IDEA Research Institute”) has announced that Zhang Hongbo will join the Digital Infrastructure Innovation Center of IDEA Research Institute as a chair scientist to strengthen basic software research and development capabilities.

Zhang Hongbo is the author of the general programming language ReScript and the former core developer of the programming language OCaml. ReScript is a powerfully typed language that compiles to efficient and highly readable JavaScript; includes a fast compiler toolchain that scales to any codebase size.

The ReScript language is currently the only general-purpose programming language developed and produced by the Chinese that has a certain influence internationally. The language project began as a personal interest and has since become widely adopted by programmers around the world. In addition to English, ReScript official documents also have translations in Korean, Portuguese and other languages.

Before joining IDEA Research Institute, Zhang Hongbo was employed as an exception because of the use of ReScript in the Meta Messenger project, and became the only software engineer in the company with resident work experience in mainland China so far. Zhang Hongbo graduated from the Department of Electronics, Tsinghua University, and won the first place in the department’s professional performance and the highest national scholarship in his junior year. Later, he was invited by Bloomberg to work on functional programming while studying for a doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania (University of Pennsylvania). The development of language compilers, and its early work was also officially reported by Bloomberg.

According to the introduction, the newly established Basic Software Center of IDEA Research Institute is different from traditional academic research institutions pursuing theoretical single-point innovation, and focuses more on the system level, especially the collaborative innovation and implementation of large-scale basic software R&D projects. Based on the research and implementation of underlying software, the center will build a world-leading, self-controllable, healthy and sustainable next-generation program development environment by building a complete set of program development tool chains, and promote the cultivation of system-level software talents and the development of downstream industries .

On the one hand, with the substantial increase in the size and complexity of modern software codes, development tools are gradually migrating to the cloud. At the same time, next-generation Web standard instruction sets such as WebAssembly are maturing and widely accepted by the community. Under this general trend, the center hopes to design a new general-purpose programming language based on WebAssembly, optimize the runtime garbage collection mechanism, and flexibly adapt to various application scenarios, so as to not only provide developers with better productivity tools, but also create a new generation of Program development environment and talents and industry development contribute wisdom and strength.

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