Fantom (programming language)

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DeveloperBrian Frank, Andy Frank
First appeared2005[1]
Stable release
1.0.79 / July 17, 2023; 10 months ago (2023-07-17)[2]
Typing disciplinestatic, dynamic
LicenseAcademic Free License version 3.0[3]
Filename, .fwt, .pod
Influenced by
C#, Java, Scala, Ruby, Erlang

Fantom is a general-purpose object-oriented programming language, created by Brian Frank and Andy Frank.[4] It runs on the Java Runtime Environment (JRE), JavaScript, and the .NET Common Language Runtime (CLR) (.NET support is considered "prototype"[5] status). Its stated goal is to provide a standard library API.[6] Fantom uses a curly brace syntax, supports functional programming through closures and concurrency through the Actor model, and blends aspects of both static and dynamic typing.

The original name of the Fantom programming language was Fan, named after the neighborhood where the creators live in Richmond, Virginia. In November 2009,[7] the name of the project was officially changed from Fan to Fantom due to searchability concern raised by its community.[8]

Fantom is open source under Academic Free License 3.0 and is available for Windows and Unix-like platforms (including Mac OS X).[9]

Features and systems[edit]

All variables in Fantom are statically typed, as it does not have generic types, but it does have a set of built-in generic types: List, Map, and Func. Fantom also supports dynamic calls and automatic downcasting. Fantom has a reflection API and metaprogramming capabilities.

Fantom supports imports of Java Classes and modules with some limitations.[10] Its integer is 64-bit. Unlike Java and C#, Fantom does not have Long or Short integer types. Fantom also does not support tuples.[11]

In Fantom, the unit of deployment is called a pod. Pods take on the role of namespaces, packages, and modules. They are stored as .pod files, which are zip files containing the FCode (the Fantom bytecode), the documentation, and resource files necessary to run the pod. The Fantom build system can package a set of pods into a JAR archive through build::JarDist.

Integrated development environment[edit]

F4 is the main publicly available IDE for the Fantom language, officially supported by one of the main open-source contributors to the language, Steve Eynon.[12] The F4 IDE is available on GitHub.

Fantom Widget Toolkit[edit]

Fantom ships with a standard windowing toolkit called the Fantom Widget Toolkit, or FWT for short.[13] FWT was designed to be portable across several platforms. It is currently implemented on the JVM using the Standard Widget Toolkit as a backend. The JavaScript implementation is backed by the canvas element and JavaFX, allowing FWT applications to be run in a web browser. There are plans for a CLR implementation using Windows Forms.


Escape the Mainframe is a browser game (just like the Google t-rex dinosaur) completely written in Fantom by Steve Eynon.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Blog post about history of Fantom
  2. ^ "Fantom". 17 July 2023.
  3. ^ FAQ of Fandoc language website
  4. ^ Fantom FAQ: Contact Us
  5. ^ "Fantom FAQ: Roadmap". Archived from the original on 2015-12-11. Retrieved 2012-03-29.
  6. ^ Fantom FAQ: Why Fantom?
  7. ^ History of Fantom programming language
  8. ^ Fan is officially now Fantom
  9. ^ McAllister, Neil (2012-01-03). "10 programming languages that could shake up IT". InfoWorld. Retrieved 2015-10-30.
  10. ^ Java FFI at Fantom home page
  11. ^ Tuples question at Fantom official page
  12. ^ "Steve Eynon (MEng MIET) - Fantom Factory | LinkedIn". Retrieved 2023-12-14.
  13. ^ "fwt – Fantom". 2015-01-08. Retrieved 2015-10-30.
  14. ^ "Escape the Mainframe!". Retrieved 2023-12-14.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]