Programming Books

3 Free Books to Learn Vala

Vala is an object-oriented programming language with a self-hosting compiler that generates C code and uses the GObject system.

Vala combines the high-level build-time performance of scripting languages with the run-time performance of low-level programming languages.

Vala is syntactically similar to C# and includes notable features such as anonymous functions, signals, properties, generics, assisted memory management, exception handling, type inference, and foreach statements.

Its developers, Jürg Billeter and Raffaele Sandrini, wanted to bring these features to the plain C runtime with little overhead and no special runtime support by targeting the GObject object system. Rather than compiling directly to machine code or assembly language, it compiles to a lower-level intermediate language. It source-to-source compiles to C, which is then compiled with a C compiler for a given platform, such as GCC.

Did you always want to write GTK+ or GNOME programs, but hate C with a passion? Try Vala.

Vala is published under the GNU Lesser General Public License v2.1+.


1. Vala Reference Manual

Vala Reference Manual

The Vala Reference Manual gives details on Vala’s syntax and type system, including polymorphism using interfaces and type parameters (generics).

Vala includes additional code generation routines, for example D-Bus inter-process communication and GTK+3 composite templates, these are only referred to in the Attributes section.

The reference manual does not provide a tutorial for these features.

The book is published under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.

Read the book


2. Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs by Harold Abelson and Gerald Jay Sussman with Julie Sussman

Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs

Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs is a textbook which teaches the principles of computing programming. It is a classic text in computer science, a definite must read.

Although this book is not Vala specific, it’s essential reading for anyone looking to learn this language. The book offers a big step forward in developing your understanding of functional programming. You’ll want to learn about lambda expressions, true closures, and more.

The book focuses on the main role played by different approaches to dealing with time in computational models.

The material in this book has been the basis of MIT’s entry-level computer science subject since 1980. The authors use the programming language Lisp to educate the reader.

Read the book


3. Defensive Coding Guide by Red Hat, Inc.

Defensive Coding GuideThis guide provides guidelines for improving software security through secure coding. It covers common programming languages and libraries, and focuses on concrete recommendations.

There’s a section of this guide that’s dedicated to Vala.

Read the book


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