When comparing PureScript vs Ceylon, the Slant community recommends PureScript for most people. In the question“What are the best (productivity-enhancing, well-designed, and concise, rather than just popular or time-tested) programming languages?” PureScript is ranked 22nd while Ceylon is ranked 25th. The most important reason people chose PureScript is:
Has Typeclasses and RankNTypes
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Higher kinded types
Has Typeclasses and RankNTypes
Pro High performance FFI code
Pro Modules can be compiled to CommonJS
Pro Has row polymorphism and extensible effects
Pro Type safety
Compiling should be your first unit test. A tight type system (static and hopefully strong) will catch many logic errors that are often difficult to spot through debugging. In languages like PureScript, if it compiles, it often runs properly.
Pro Awesome web frameworks
Halogen (VDOM, similar to ELM)
And hit these up with Signals, Isolated/(Managed?) Components, powerful functions and FFI
Pro Pure functional language
You cannot have side effects, unless a function is explicitly defined as so.
FFI system is quite good and easy to use. You can import functions curried or not curried. Records and arrays use native JS objects and arrays.
Pro Strong static typing, null safe and flexible, almost dynamic type system
The compiler prevents you from using a potentially null variable, unless you check it is not null. Ie. it forces you to check a potentially null value before using it.
The type system is strict, but flexible, allowing union and intersection of types, covariant and contravariant types, reified types, etc.
Type inference and union types allows a dynamic programming style, close of JS spirit.
It brings type safety to JS, allowing to define interfaces to existing JS APIs, yet using the
dynamic keyword for flexible calls in the JS ecosystem.
Pro Excellent IDE support
Ceylon has reified generics, so it doesn't loose the type of collections at runtime. This makes autocompletion, debugging, etc. first-class. The Eclipse plugin makes it a full-fledged Ceylon IDE, and an IntelliJ IDEA plugin is in the works.
Pro Great tutorial
Gavin King, main author of the language, has a great, clear technical writing style, making understandable difficult concepts like variance or sound type system.
Pro Try it out in the browser
It has a Web IDE: http://try.ceylon-lang.org/ with impressive demos: http://try.ceylon-lang.org/?gist=bd41b47f325b6d32514a so you can try it without installing anything, and see the JS generation / interop in action.
Pro Excellent documentation
The language specification is very complete and up to date; also, the language module is very well documented.
Pro Easy to learn even if you don't have prior programming experience
Ceylon is indeed fairly easy and readable. Of course those ones who know OOP and a bit of functional programming concepts will feel almost at home right from the start.
Pro Generate HTML
HTML generation is supported right in the SDK.
Pro Same code in backend and frontend
Con Lack of good IDE/tooling support
Con Lots of dependencies needed to get started
Purescript is written in Haskell, but meant to be used with Node.js. As a result, to get started , users must install ghc, cabal, node.js, grunt, and bower. Purescript also has its own compiler, and different semantics form Haskell, and so even after installing, there's still some overhead to getting productive with Purescript.
Con Slow compilation
On large project, for example Halogen
Con Restrictive FFI
Con Lack of physical or electronic books
We should hope Red Hat or anyone interested would take the time and write one. That would strengthen the maturity of the language, but Ceylon is rapidly developing which can make the author's efforts futile because his or hers work will become obsolete soon.
The second hindrance is, of course, popularity of the language which can't give much to the pockets of the author (however, Dart's unpopularity at start didn't prevent it to have a lot of printed material, but that's Google's child, we know).
Con Currently has large runtime
Ceylon 1.2 needs a language runtime of 1.55 MiB, and the Collection library adds another 370 KiB. That's a lot for the Web...
Now, this has to be put in perspective: if you use Ceylon to make a web application, these files will be loaded once, then cached by the browser (that's not casual browsing).
Moreover, most servers compress such resource, and the numbers become respectively 234 KiB and 54 KiB, which is more reasonable...