When comparing Ceylon vs C#, the Slant community recommends Ceylon for most people. In the question“What are the best languages for learning functional programming?” Ceylon is ranked 10th while C# is ranked 22nd. The most important reason people chose Ceylon is:
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.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
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
.NET offers rich functionality.
Pro 3rd Party support
Lot's of tools and libraries available.
Pro Visual Studio
The Visual Studio IDE offers one of the best development environments. The Community Edition can be used for free.
Pro Can be used in a variety of fields
with Xamarin for Mobile (ios, android)
with .net core asp for server (linux, windows)
with .net core for desktop (windows, mac)
with mono for desktop (windows, linux)
with blazor for web client with webassembly.
However, it is not considered top for any of those categories
top choice for windows desktop with .net framework
top choice for Unity
.net 5 will unify frameworks similar to JVM (just one)
Runs on Linux, Mac, and Windows
Can be designed visually with the Visual Studio designer for traditional Windows forms, WPF, or Web forms.
Pro It is a C like language.
Being a C like language counts in favor for it as a general purpose programming language, given the ease of using existing skills to pick up this language easily.
there are other superior languages that could be used as a general purpose, such as: F#, Haskell, but the complexity of those languages, being functional, make them strange to the usual C Syntax.
C# is better than C whenever garbage collection, Objects, classes, data access, are needed. But C is going to be the choice when hardware access and performance are paramount.
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...
Con Learning curve
For a beginner the .NET framework can be daunting, the rich functionality means that things often can be done in several ways.
Con Microsoft will mess up with the Visual studio installation
And all of a sudden you'll need to reinstall the entire thing just because it stopped working.
Microsoft assumes that every workstation is connected to the Internet then it is always pushing updates.
Con Very large runtime
Cannot be used for embedded programming