Ballerina Language Specifications and Proposals

Released Specifications

The below are the most stable versions of the lanuguage specification, which are in sync with the Ballerina releases.

Note: The ChangeLog section of the specification identifies the changes that have occurred in each version of the specification.

Version Release Date Description
2021R1 2021-06-02 First release of 2021. This is the basis for Ballerina Swan Lake Beta1.
2020R1 2020-03-20 First release of 2020. This is the basis for jBallerina 1.2.0.
2019R3 2019-09-07 Stable release used as the basis for jBallerina 1.0.0 implementation. Mostly a cleanup from 2019R2
2019R2 2019-07-01 Major revised edition of the language
2019R1 2019-05-01 First release with new versioning scheme with significant revisions

Current Snapshot

For a snapshot of the current language specification including all changes, see the main language specification.

Previous Drafts

For previous draft language specifications of a Ballerina release, see the draft language specification.

Specification Versioning Convention

From the start of 2019, Ballerina specifications are versioned chronologically using the convention 20XYRn, where XY is the 2-digit year (e.g., 19), R stands for “Release”, and n is the release number for that year. Prior to 2019, a semver versioning scheme was used. However, that approach was abandoned when the language specification reached 0.980.

Proposals for Improvements/Enhancements

For the proposals for improving Ballerina, see the work in progress proposals.

Ballerina Platform Specifications

Specification Latest Released Version Current Snapshot
Code to Cloud 2021R1 Snapshot
Configurable 2021R1 Snapshot
Language Extensions - Deprecation 2021R1 Snapshot
Package 2021R1 Snapshot
Test Framework 2021R1 Snapshot

About Ballerina Specifications

As a platform designed to have multiple implementations, Ballerina semantics are defined by a series of specifications and not by the implementation. Currently, we have only one implementation (i.e., jBallerina, which compiles Ballerina to Java bytecodes). Others will follow, including a compiler which generates native binaries using LLVM.

The Ballerina platform is specified by a collection of specifications starting with the Ballerina Language Specification. Other specifications (which are yet to be moved to the specification repository or, in some cases, yet to be written) will cover the standard library, built-in language extensions such as security, immutability & deprecation, module and project management, testing, documentation, compiler extensions for cloud, and Ballerina Central.

All Ballerina specifications are maintained in the ballerina-spec GitHub repository. Designing is also done via clearly-identified issues in this repository. Contributors are encouraged to participate via existing issues or by creating new issues.