Dapps otherwise referred to as Decentralized Applications are applications built on the open-source, peer-to-peer network of Ethereum Blockchain which uses smart contracts and front-end user interfaces to create decentralized platforms.
Developing a Dapp, like any other app, requires programming and executing code on the system. Solidity programming stands apart from the other programming languages and is the programming language of choice in Ethereum.
Solidity is a brand-new programming language developed by Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency market by capitalization.
So if you are interested in exploring more about Solidity Programming and its concepts, then you are at the right place. In this tutorial on Solidity Programming, you will cover various important components of Solidity Programming.
What is Solidity Programming?
- It's used to create smart contracts that implement business logic and generate a chain of transaction records in the blockchain system.
- It acts as a tool for creating machine-level code and compiling it on the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
- It has a lot of similarities with C and C++ and is pretty simple to learn and understand. For example, a “main” in C is equivalent to a “contract” in Solidity.
Like other programming languages, Solidity programming also has variables, functions, classes, arithmetic operations, string manipulation, and many other concepts.
Evolution of Solidity Programming
Solidity is a relatively new language that is rapidly growing.
- Solidity is currently the core language on Ethereum and other private blockchains operating on competing platforms, such as Monax and its Hyperledger Burrow blockchain which uses Tendermint for consensus.
- SWIFT has created a proof of concept that runs on Burrow and uses Solidity.
What are EVM and Smart Contracts?
EVM or Ethereum Virtual Machine
- The Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) provides a runtime environment for Ethereum smart contracts.
- It is primarily concerned with ensuring the security and execution of untrusted programs through the use of an international network of public nodes.
- EVM is specialized in preventing Denial-of-Service attacks and certifies that the programs do not have access to each other's state, as well as establishing communication, with no possible interference.
- Smart contracts refer to high-level program codes compiled into EVM before being posted to the Ethereum blockchain for execution.
- It enables you to conduct trustworthy transactions without the involvement of a third party; these transactions are traceable and irreversible.
- Programming languages commonly used to create and write smart contracts are Serpent, Solidity, Mutan, and LLL.
Data Types of Solidity Programming
It supports all the common data types seen in other OOP languages, such as,
- Boolean - The Boolean data type returns ‘1' when the condition is true and ‘0' when it is false, depending on the status of the condition.
- Integer - You can sign or unsign integer values in Solidity. It also supports runtime exceptions and the ‘uint8' and ‘uint256' keywords.
- String - Single or double quotes can denote a string.
- Modifier - Before executing the code for a smart contract, a modifier often verifies that any condition is rational.
- Array - The syntax of Solidity programming is like that of other OOP languages, and it supports both single and multidimensional arrays.
Apart from that, Solidity programming allows you to "Map" data structures with enums, operators, and hash values to return values stored in specific storage places.
How to Get Started With Solidity Programming?
- Pragmas are directives to the compiler about how to handle the code. Every line of solidity source code should begin with a "version pragma," which specifies which version of the solidity compiler to use.
- This prevents the code from being incompatible with future compiler versions that may introduce changes.
The Contract Keyword
- The contract keyword declares a contract that encapsulates the code.
- State variables are written on the Ethereum Blockchain and are permanently maintained in contract storage.
- The line uint public var1 declares a state variable of type uint named var1 (unsigned integer of 256 bits), it is very similar to adding a slot in a database.
A Function Declaration
- This is a function named “set” of access modifier type public which takes a variable a and variable b of data type uint as a parameter.
- This was an example of a simple smart contract that updates the value of var1 and var2. Anyone with access to the Ethereum blockchain can use the set function to change the value of var1 and var2.
- By adding the values of the variables var1 and var2, it can calculate the variable sum.
- It will retrieve and print the value of the state variable sum using the “get” function.
How to Execute the Code
You can execute a Solidity Program in two ways -
- Offline Mode
- Online Mode
To operate a Solidity smart contract in Offline mode, it must meet three conditions and follow four essential actions:
- Create a truffle project and set up a development network for it.
- Develop and deploy a smart contract for it.
- From the Truffle console, interact with the smart contract.
- Create tests to evaluate Solidity's primary features.
In the Online Mode, the Remix IDE is typically used to compile and run Solidity smart contracts.
Advantages of Solidity Programming
Apart from the primary functionality of Solidity Programming, there are many other features provided by Solidity programming that cause it to have an edge over other Ethereum based languages.
- Apart from fundamental data types, Solidity programming also allows complex data types and member variables.
- It provides an Application Binary Interface (ABI) to enable type safety. If the compiler discovers a data type mismatch for any variable, the ABI generates an error.
- It refers to the ‘Natural Language Specification,' which is used to turn user-centric specifications into language that machines can understand.
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In this tutorial, you came across everything about Solidity Programming and its concepts like how it evolved, what EVM and Smart Contracts are, what the Data Types in Solidity Programming are, and what its advantages are.
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