The Glow Language

Coming Soon!

Glow will officially launch on the last week of December 2020.
We are delaying the event one week so we can launch at the same time as our partner network. Watch this space for an updated website.

Introduction: Safe, Portable Decentralized Applications

Glow is a programming language to portably develop safe Decentralized Applications.

Glow is an Open Source project and welcomes all honest people to its community of users and contributors.

Glow was originally created and keeps being developed by Mutual Knowledge Systems (mukn.io), a.k.a. MuKn (pronounced “Moon” or “Myun”). MuKn offers commercial support, custom development and training around the Glow ecosystem, yet claims no monopoly on such services.

For more technical information, the Glow whitepaper was officially published on January 31st 2020, and a 32-minute technical introduction was given at EthCC[3] on March 3rd, 2020: video, slides. More documentation will be available at launch.

You can join the community by joining our Discord server: discord.gg/Zx7p5Pp3yq

Take me to the code!

Our source code repository is at: gitlab.com/mukn/glow.

Our code runs on Linux and macOS. It builds in a reproducible way using the Nix package manager. It should also work on Windows using WSL, if you manage to get Nix working on it.

Some time in 2021Q2, our code will run on any browser on desktop, laptop or mobile, by deploying to the JavaScript platform and/or integrating with an existing wallet—but that is still work in progress.

To install compiled binaries for Glow, all its dependencies, plus all the tools needed to (re)build and (re)test it, copy/paste this command in a terminal:

curl -L https://glow-lang.org/install/glow-install | sh

Note that installation should be fast and seamless on our developer-supported architectures x86_64-linux and x86_64-darwin, but may be quite slow, especially the first time around, on other architectures. See our INSTALL.md for details.

Of course we trust the installation code, but you shouldn't until you audit it, and so you should ideally run that script inside a virtual machine. For extra security, you might want to use Qubes OS.

We know the code is not yet ready for general use, incomplete and insufficiently documented, but it will be ready when we launch. In the meantime, you can join our discord server to ask questions: discord.gg/Zx7p5Pp3yq

Our Mission: Make all applications decentralized

Each centralized application is a single point of failure causing technical and economic fragility: its monopoly operator is a target ripe for political capture and control, for censorship, propaganda and repression of dissent, for price gouging and one-sided “contracts”, for corruption and incompetence. Sooner or later, eventually, it will fail, to catastrophic effects. We can solve these issues by replacing each of these centralized applications by a Decentralized Application, a DApp.

We envision a future where all the big electronic businesses of today have been replaced by decentralized variants using decentralized payments on decentralized ledgers: RBnBitcoin, UbEther, ADAmazon, FaceBCH, Tezoogle, the New York's Token Exchange, etc.

We are not satisfied with some mere thousands of DApps, as of today, being used to trade hundred billions of dollars worth of digital assets yearly, in a specialized high-risk, high-reward market reserved to very technical people. We want all millions of existing centralized applications to be displaced by decentralized variants, used by everyone, that will move a hundred trillion dollars in total assets—a sizable chunk of the world economy.

However, between now and this future lies a big hurdle: today, writing safe DApps is too difficult, and using one is fraught with peril. That is why we at MuKn created Glow, a language that makes it tremendously easier to write, and verify, DApps—a “JavaScript for Blockchain”.

Our Approach: Security through Simplicity

A single mistake in a DApp can cause its users to lose all their assets. Between DApps with coding mistakes granting permissions to hackers, not-so-decentralized DApps trusting a central authority that got hacked, or incorrect or unstable economic formulas that could be gamed, hundreds of millions of dollars worth of digital assets were already lost this way.

To avoid this catastrophic risk when writing a DApp today, you should hire top experts in seven (7) different fields of Computer Science and Economics, in addition to your DApp's own field: cybersecurity, cryptography, distributed systems, systems programming, economic modelling, economic mechanism design, and one specific blockchain. Then all these experts must somehow work together, just to support that one blockchain. All in all, writing a DApp with today's tools feels a lot like digging for gold with toothpicks; and even the most advanced development platforms only offer you pickaxes. We at MuKn are building an excavator instead: Glow.

Our team uniquely combines expertise in all above-mentionned fields, and also in Programming Languages and Formal Methods. We encoded our expertise in a language, Glow, that abstracts over the complexity of Blockchain, so your team doesn't need to hire all those experts — or rather can hire them, through us, at a fraction of the cost and risk of building your own team in-house.

Whereas the critical parts of a DApp will today require thousands of lines in a combination of Solidity and JavaScript, Glow will let you write an equivalent DApp in a mere hundreds of lines of a single language, where a lot of the usual security concerns have disappeared, being automatically handled by our language.

With our language, you only need a single expert, in the subject matter of your DApp, whether it is derivatives trading, insurance, supply chain, shopping, etc. Our compiler and runtime take care of Blockchain.

Glow makes DApps vastly simpler, hence cheaper, faster and easier to write—but also to audit, and in fine, to trust. To further simplify audit, and unlike our competition, Glow has built-in support for formal methods to automate the verification of security properties. Note how independent audit is essential for DApps because users put their assets at risk with no recourse, which is not the case with centralized applications. Also unlike our competition, our language will run on every blockchain, not just a single one you must bet your business on. DApp writers and users won't care anymore which blockchain they use; Glow will therefore commoditize the underlying Blockchains and disrupt the market.

We understand that security is to be solved just at the level of abstraction. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. By using a Domain-Specific Language (DSL), we can provide a robust replacement to the weakest link of most DApps today. But after and beyond this most pressing of problems, there is an entire ecosystem to build, where each part can be trusted because it is simple enough to be auditable—including the blueprint for assembling the parts. We will gather the most trustworthy components to use alongside Glow to build DApps that you can trust with handling your digital assets.

Come join the Glow community and build the decentralized internet of the future!

There are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies, and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. The first method is far more difficult. It demands the same skill, devotion, insight, and even inspiration as the discovery of the simple physical laws which underlie the complex phenomena of nature.
— C.A.R. Hoare, Turing Award Lecture

Follow us

For now, Glow is being developed by Mutual Knowledge Systems (mukn.io). For announcements, follow:

Contact us

You can contact us by joining our community on Discord: discord.gg/Zx7p5Pp3yq

For more business inquiries, send email to contact@mukn.io.