Prolog is coming back
By Nadia Krusteva

Edition 46, 5 December, 1998

A team of Bulgarian logicians promoted the creation of the first version of the created by them Prolog compiler. The team of developers lead by Dimitar Dobrev presented the new software product at the formal promotion event held in the faculty of Mathematics and Informatics in Sofia University on December 3rd 1998.

Strawberry Prolog 1.0 provides a good development environment and a system facilitating for the bugs detection. The comfortable consumer interface deserves attention since this particular feature is seldomly found with other Prolog compilers (really they are older with a couple of years). It is possible that the Proof Tree can be visualised i.e. to trace the path by which the predicates have been satisfied. The compiler supports both COM and ActiveX. The product also provides built-in graphic predicates.

The creators of the new software admit that about the speed Strawberry Prolog is behind the leading analogical products, however, they intend to change this in future versions.

"While they have been developed for many years by large teams of programmers and have obtained their maximum capacity Strawberry Prolog is now developing", said Stoyan Mihov , a researcher, in the laboratory of linguistic modelling to the Bulgarian Academy of Science. The team plan to create a system which will automatically overcome programmes cycling based on their own theoretical work.

240 consumers from Great Britain, Israel, Canada and USA have shown interest towards Strawberry Prolog 1.0. It should not be neglected that Prolog was one of the "great expectations" of information society a few years ago and also a synonym of the "fifth generation" of programming languages. Although the logical programming is not in the focus nowadays as a concept it has a lot of advantages. For example the developers demonstrated the famous game Mine Sweeper created on Strawberry Prolog. Thus they successfully illustrated how shorter is the code written in Prolog compared to the widely used languages such as Visual Basic. Though not greatly popular at the moment, this language has its followers especially in the academic societies. It would not be surprising if Prolog (or at least its ideology fundaments) attracts the attention again.