Free 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


All books in this series:

Free Programming Books
JavaGeneral-purpose, concurrent, class-based, object-oriented, high-level language
CGeneral-purpose, procedural, portable, high-level language
PythonGeneral-purpose, structured, powerful language
C++General-purpose, portable, free-form, multi-paradigm language
C#Combines the power and flexibility of C++ with the simplicity of Visual Basic
JavaScriptInterpreted, prototype-based, scripting language
PHPPHP has been at the helm of the web for many years
HTMLHyperText Markup Language
SQLAccess and manipulate data held in a relational database management system
RubyGeneral purpose, scripting, structured, flexible, fully object-oriented language
AssemblyAs close to writing machine code without writing in pure hexadecimal
SwiftPowerful and intuitive general-purpose programming language
GroovyPowerful, optionally typed and dynamic language
GoCompiled, statically typed programming language
PascalImperative and procedural language designed in the late 1960s
PerlHigh-level, general-purpose, interpreted, scripting, dynamic language
RDe facto standard among statisticians and data analysts
COBOLCommon Business-Oriented Language
ScalaModern, object-functional, multi-paradigm, Java-based language
FortranThe first high-level language, using the first compiler
ScratchVisual programming language designed for 8-16 year-old children
LuaDesigned as an embeddable scripting language
LogoDialect of Lisp that features interactivity, modularity, extensibility
RustIdeal for systems, embedded, and other performance critical code
LispUnique features - excellent to study programming constructs
AdaALGOL-like programming language, extended from Pascal and other languages
HaskellStandardized, general-purpose, polymorphically, statically typed language
SchemeA general-purpose, functional language descended from Lisp and Algol
PrologA general purpose, declarative, logic programming language
ForthImperative stack-based programming language
ClojureDialect of the Lisp programming language
JuliaHigh-level, high-performance language for technical computing
AwkVersatile language designed for pattern scanning and processing language
CoffeeScriptTranscompiles into JavaScript inspired by Ruby, Python and Haskell
BASICBeginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code
ErlangGeneral-purpose, concurrent, declarative, functional language
VimLPowerful scripting language of the Vim editor
OCamlThe main implementation of the Caml language
ECMAScriptBest known as the language embedded in web browsers
BashShell and command language; popular both as a shell and a scripting language
LaTeXProfessional document preparation system and document markup language
TeXMarkup and programming language - create professional quality typeset text
ArduinoInexpensive, flexible, open source microcontroller platform
TypeScriptStrict syntactical superset of JavaScript adding optional static typing
ElixirRelatively new functional language running on the Erlang virtual machine
F#Uses functional, imperative, and object-oriented programming methods
TclDynamic language based on concepts of Lisp, C, and Unix shells
FactorDynamic stack-based programming language
EiffelObject-oriented language designed by Bertrand Meyer
AgdaDependently typed functional language based on intuitionistic Type Theory
IconWide variety of features for processing and presenting symbolic data
XMLRules for defining semantic tags describing structure ad meaning
ValaObject-oriented language, syntactically similar to C#
Standard MLGeneral-purpose functional language characterized as "Lisp with types"
DGeneral-purpose systems programming language with a C-like syntax
DartClient-optimized language for fast apps on multiple platforms
MarkdownPlain text formatting syntax designed to be easy-to-read and easy-to-write
KotlinMore modern version of Java
Objective-CObject-oriented language that adds Smalltalk-style messaging to C
PureScriptSmall strongly, statically typed language compiling to JavaScript
ClojureScriptCompiler for Clojure that targets JavaScript
VHDLHardware description language used in electronic design automation
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