Julia's big plan to break into enterprise: What's next for the fast-growing programming language

Julia Computing, an organization set up by the language's creators, has spelled out how it plans to use that success to propel Julia into enterprise and larger organizations.

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Up and coming programming language Julia enjoyed a stellar 2018, with the number of users rising rapidly alongside soaring ratings on code repository GitHub.

Now Julia Computing, an organization set up by the language's creators, has spelled out how it plans to use that success to propel Julia into enterprise and larger organizations.

To do this, Julia Computing has created JuliaTeam, a service that aims to make it easier to use Julia, particularly inside enterprises.

The Julia programming language is designed to combine the speed of C with the usability of Python, the dynamism of Ruby, the mathematical prowess of MatLab, and the statistical chops of R -- with the creators going as far as to describe it as a language for developers "who want it all". In the seven years since its launch, it's found favor as a language for building machine-learning models and running supercomputer simulations.

JuliaTeam is aimed at addressing a criticism of Julia, that it can be hard to find and manage Julia packages, the name given to the language's software libraries.

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Stefan Karpinski, one of the creators of the Julia programming language, laid out a roadmap for JuliaTeam.

At present, Karpinski said that JuliaTeam "lets developers install Julia packages behind a company's firewall without hassles while hooking into authentication systems so that IT and management have insight and control over who's using what Julia packages.

"Our plans for JuliaTeam are much bigger than this simple beginning, however: it will provide key infrastructure for the whole Julia ecosystem and be a mechanism for companies benefiting from that ecosystem to give back to the community."

In the longer term, the team at Julia Computing are working on allowing JuliaTeam to provide backups of package repos to prevent code being lost or corrupted, to notify users of security vulnerabilities discovered in Julia packages, on a new package registration process that will support registration of private packages inside organizations, and a testing service to see if changes to packages will break apps that depend on them.

Julia Computing has also began work on setting up JuliaTeam as a host for all Julia package documentation, alongside providing a central search function for packages and documentation.

Finally there is also an ambition to provide an API that makes it easier to refactor code bases composed of many packages, to build a test platform for private Julia packages to ensure future releases of the language don't break applications, and to integrate standard Julia testing and debugging tools, alongside offering a new suite of benchmarking tools.

Each of these JuliaTeam features will be available both as a free and as a paid-for enterprise option, said Karpinski.

"We envision a future where Julia Computing can reinvest revenue from JuliaTeam into the open source ecosystem, providing support to make sure that releases, bug fixes, documentation, and testing all meet the highest standards for software development," said Karpinski.

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