China-made programming language Mulan turns out to be false publicity by a scholar-cnTechPost

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The release of a China-made programming language called Mulan has caused quite a stir in recent days. However, it turned out that it was a false publicity by a scholar, and he apologized for it.

Mulan was officially released as the "C language for the intelligent IoT era," a laboratory under the Chinese Academy of Sciences announced on January 15, cnTechPost reported on Friday.

The programming language is for intelligent IoT applications, using the latest design concepts and compilation technologies, the State Key Laboratory of Computer Architecture, Institute of Computing Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences said.

The development team is committed to building it as the "C language for the intelligent IoT era," the team said.

However, shortly after the Mulan programming language was released, cnTechPost mentioned that some Zhihu users claim that it now looks like a simplified version of Python. The first version of ulang-0.2.2 was implemented directly with Python.

The said it was actually the Python language with a new appearance. It had the same icons and dialogs as Python, and provided the same functions as Python.

Many developers find that the unpacked Mulan language is actually built on Python, compiling the environment, packages, and projects built by Python into an executable file.

In addition, the Mulan open source software package was not found on the official website of the Institute of Computing Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and GitHub.

After facing numerous questioning online, Liu Lei, the head of the Mulan R&D team, responded on Saturday and apologized for his exaggerated publicity.

Liu Lei said that the Mulan programming language is designed around youth programming education, designing and developing products such as programming languages, compilers, and integrated development environments.

He said he made the following mistakes:

1. Mulan programming language is mainly used in primary and secondary education. In the introduction, it is extended to the field of intelligent things.

2. The compiler of Mulan language on 8-bit microcontrollers was developed by this team. The compiler on 32-bit microcontrollers is a secondary development based on the Python open source compiler. However, claiming the Mulan programming language and compiler were completely independent developed by his team was exaggerated.

Liu Lei said that he apologized seriously for the adverse effects of the Mulan programming language on the Internet, and sincerely apologized for the adverse consequences of the calculations of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The following is the full text of Liu Lei's apology published by China Science News and translated by cnTechpost:

Liu Lei's explanation about the "Mulan" programming language

I am an employee of the Compiling Laboratory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Based on my scientific research on compilation technology, I founded the Zhongke Zhixin (Beijing) Technology Co., Ltd. The company designs and develops programming languages, compilers, and integrated development environments around youth programming education.

In order to better popularize computational thinking in primary and secondary schools, I led the team to develop a programming language called "Mulan". It contains three components:
First, borrow the characteristics of the Lua language in the language specification and expand it, adding new features such as data expression methods.

Second, Developed a visual programming environment that supports children's programming education.

Third, For the 8-bit AVR microcontroller, the corresponding compiler and runtime system were implemented, and a virtual machine capable of simulating multi-task execution was developed. The above products have already carried out 100,000 programming science popularization activities in hundreds of primary and secondary schools.

For STM32 microcontrollers, we are based on the secondary development of the Python open source compiler, that is, first convert the Mulan language source program to Python's intermediate representation (AST), and then run it on the Python virtual machine.

This is why the Python system is included in the development and runtime environment.

In an interview with the media on January 15, I made the following mistakes in my introduction to the Mulan programming language:

1. Mulan programming language is mainly used in primary and secondary education. In the introduction, it is extended to the field of intelligent things.

2. The compiler of Mulan language on 8-bit microcontrollers was developed by this team. The compiler on 32-bit microcontrollers is a secondary development based on the Python open source compiler. However, claiming the Mulan programming language and compiler were completely independent developed by his team was exaggerated.

I sincerely apologize for the adverse effects on the Internet this time, and sincerely apologize for the adverse consequences of the calculations of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

I thank you all for your supervision and criticism, and I have deeply reflected to ensure that similar problems will not occur again.

Liu Lei

January 18, 2020