The Ethereum Foundation has announced a new smart contract language dubbed ‘Fe’ which is currently in development. This language derives its fundamentals from an Ethereum compiler known as ‘Vyper’; its code is written on Ethereum’s Virtual Machine (EVM) Rust programming language.
According to Ethereum software engineer Christoph Burgdorf, the development of Fe comes as a complement to solidity and will have a net positive effect on the ecosystem,
“The majority of applications deployed on the Ethereum network these days are written in Solidity. We believe the Solidity team is doing a great job and are clearly doing a lot of things right to maintain their current market share.
However, we also believe that more choices for developers will be a net positive for the ecosystem,”
Fe, which is named after the periodic table element Ferrum or Iron, pivots more towards the python programming language. Christoph said that this new language results from the demand for a simpler and more python-friendly alternative to solidity.
This new smart contract language is set to push forward the goals set out by Vyper compiler; they include accurate gas and transaction cost estimations. According to Christoph, the initial goal was to create a Vyper alternative, but the languages ended up taking different syntaxes. He added that,
“At this early stage in development, the differences between Fe and Vyper are still limited. For now, one will notice that Fe borrows a few syntactic properties from Rust.
It's likely that Fe will begin to more closely resemble Rust as we continue to add new features.”
With Fe’s development ramping up in the recent past, the Ethereum Foundation has expressed optimism in integrating support functions to complete this new smart contract language. Christoph noted that it could be as early as this year, although the compiler will not yet be ready for production at the time,
“To be clear, the compiler will in no way be a suitable choice for a production ERC20 by that time, but we look forward to demonstrating the capabilities of Fe with such a well understood working example.”