Logtalk is a declarative object-oriented logic programming language that can use most Prolog implementations as a backend compiler. It provides code encapsulation and code reuses features for programming in the large. It doesn't provide, or attempt to bring to Prolog, any notion of mutable state that is not already available in plain Prolog or with Prolog modules. Logtalk main features include:
Separation between interface and implementation is supported. Predicate directives (declarations) can be contained inside protocols (interfaces), which can be implemented by any number of objects (and categories). Protocols are first-class entities, alongside objects and categories.
Parametric objects (and categories)
Object (and category) identifiers can be compound terms containing free variables that can be used to parametrize object (or category) predicates. Notably, this allows the interpretation of predicate clauses as providing instantiations of a parametric object identifier. I.e. using a parametric object we can associate any number of predicates with a compound term. Parameters are logical variables shared with all object (and category) directives and clauses.
Prototypes and classes
Both class-based and prototype-based systems are supported. You may have, in the same application, class-based hierarchies (with instantiation and specialization relations) and prototype-based hierarchies (with extension relations). Moreover, fundamental language features such as protocols (interfaces) and categories (components) can be used simultaneously by classes, instances, and prototypes.
Multiple object hierarchies
No need to be constrained to a single, lengthy hierarchy rooted in some generic object.
Private, protected, and public inheritance
Logtalk supports private, protected, and public inheritance in a way similar to C++. Moreover, any entity relation can be qualified using a scope keyword. E.g. an object can privately implement a protocol, thus making all protocol declared predicates private.
Private, protected, and public predicates
Set the scope of your object predicates to match your protocol design and let the runtime system enforce your choices.
Static and dynamic objects
Objects can be either static or dynamic. Static objects are defined in source files which are compiled and loaded in the same way as Prolog files. Dynamic object can be either defined in source files or created at runtime.
Static and dynamic predicates
Any static object may contain both static and dynamic predicates.
Based on standard Prolog syntax
Logtalk uses standard Prolog syntax with the addition of a few operators and directives for a smooth learning curve. Prolog code can be easily encapsulated inside objects with little or no changes. Moreover, Logtalk can transparently interpret most Prolog modules as Logtalk objects for easy reusing of existing code (e.g. libraries).
Native support for lambda expressions, including currying.
Predicates can be implicitly called when a spied event occurs, allowing programming solutions which minimize object coupling. In addition, events provide support for behavioral reflection and can be used to implement the concepts of pointcut and advice found on Aspect-Oriented Programming.
Predicates can be encapsulated inside categories, which can be virtually imported by any object, without any code duplication and irrespective of object hierarchies. Thus, objects may be defined through composition of categories, which act as fine-grained units of code reuse. A category may also extend an existing category. Categories can be used to implement aspects and mixin-like behavior without resorting to inheritance. Categories also support hot-patching of running code.
High level multi-threading programming is available when running Logtalk with selected backend Prolog compilers, allowing objects to support both synchronous and asynchronous messages. Threaded engines, independent and-parallelism, and competitive or-parallelism are also supported. Easily take advantage of modern multi-processor and multi-core computers without bothering with the details of creating and destroying threads, implement thread communication, or synchronizing threads.
Multi-inheritance and multiple-instantiation support
Logtalk supports multi-inheritance of both protocol and implementation. An object may implement several protocols and extend, specialize, or instantiate several objects. Multi-inheritance conflicts can be solved implicitly by the Logtalk lookup algorithms or explicitly by using predicate directives.
Logtalk code is compiled using the same technics that you use to write efficient Prolog code. In addition, Logtalk supports both static binding and dynamic binding (with method lookup caching), greatly improving performance. Benchmark results for some Prolog compilers are available here.
Close integration with Prolog standards
Logtalk is designed for smooth integration with any Prolog compiler that conforms or closely follows official and de facto Prolog standards.
Compatible with most Prolog compilers
Logtalk interfaces with a specific backend Prolog compiler via a minimal configuration file making it compatible with almost any modern compiler.
Comprehensive set of developer tools
The Logtalk distribution includes make, linting, debugging, documenting, diagraming, testing, assertion, profiling, porting, metrics, versioning, and packaging developer tools. Several of these tools can also be applied to plain Prolog and Prolog module code bases.