VALA - Libraries, Technology and the Future Inc. (VALA) is an Australian not-for-profit professional organisation that promotes the use and understanding of information and communication technologies across the galleries, libraries, archives and museum sectors.
Vala (), meaning "enclosure" in Vedic Sanskrit, is a demon of the Rigveda and the Atharvaveda, the brother of Vrtra .
Historically, it has the same origin as the Vrtra story, being derived from the same root, and from the same root also as Varuna, *val-/var- (PIE *wel-) "to cover, to enclose" (perhaps cognate to veil).
Parallel to Vrtra "the blocker", a stone serpent slain by Indra to liberate the rivers, Vala is a stone cave, split by Indra (intoxicated and strengthened by Soma, identified with Brhaspati in 4.50 and 10.68 or Trita in 1.52, aided by the Angirasas in 2.11), to liberate the cows and Ushas, hidden there by the Panis.
Already in 2.24, the story is given a mystical interpretation, with warlike Indra replaced by Brahmanaspati, the lord of prayer, who split Vala with prayer ( brahman) rather than with the thunderbolt.
Vala is mentioned 23 times in the Rigveda, Vala appears in hymns RV 1.11, 52, 62, RV 2.11, 12, 14, 15, 24, RV 3.30, 34, RV 4, 50, RV 6.18, 39, RV 8.14, 24, RV 10.67, 68, 138.
Central verses of the story (trans. Griffith):2.12.3 ''Who slew the Dragon, freed the Seven Rivers, and drove the kine forth from the cave of Vala, '' '' Begat the fire between two stones, the spoiler in warriors' battle, He, O men, is Indra.'' 2.15.8 Praised by the Angirases he slaughtered Vala, and burst apart the bulwarks of the mountain. He tore away their deftly-built defences. These things did Indra in the Soma's rapture. 8.14.7 In Soma's ecstasy Indra spread the firmament and realms of light, when he cleft Vala limb from limb. (compare to this description the Purusha sukta) 10.68.6 Brhaspati, when he with fiery lightnings cleft through the weapon of reviling Vala, Consumed him as tongues eat what teeth have compassed: he threw the prisons of the red cows open. 1.11.5 Lord of the thunder, thou didst burst the cave of Vala rich in cows. The Gods came pressing to thy side, and free from terror aided thee, 1.62.4 Mid shout, loud shout, and roar, with the Navagvas, seven singers, hast thou, heavenly, rent the mountain; Thou hast, with speeders, with Dasagvas, Indra, Shakra, with thunder rent obstructive Vala.
Vala is syntactically similar to C# and includes several features such as: anonymous functions, signals, properties, generics, assisted memory management, exception handling, type inference, and foreach statements. Its developers Jürg Billeter and Raffaele Sandrini aim to bring these features to the plain C runtime with little overhead and no special runtime support by targeting the GObject object system. Rather than compiling directly to machine code or assembly language, it compiles to a higher level intermediate language. It source-to-source compiles to C, which is then compiled with a C compiler for a given platform, such as GCC.
For memory management, the GObject system provides reference counting. In C, a programmer must manually manage adding and removing references, but in Vala, managing such reference counts is automated if a programmer uses the language's built-in reference types rather than plain pointers.
Using functionality from native code libraries requires writing vapi files, defining the library interfacing. Writing these interface definitions is well-documented for C libraries, especially when based on GObject. However, C++ libraries are not supported. Vapi files are provided for a large portion of the GNOME platform, including GTK+.
Vala was conceived by Jürg Billeter and was implemented by him and Raffaele Sandrini, finishing a self-hosting compiler in May 2006.
In the mythological writings of William Blake, Vala is an Emanation/mate of Luvah, one of the four Zoas, who were created when Albion, the primordial man, was divided fourfold. She represents nature while Luvah represents emotions. Originally with Luvah, she joins with Albion and begets the Zoa Urizen. In her fallen aspect, she is the wandering figure known as the Shadowy Female. After the Final Judgment, she is reunited with Luvah but placed under the dominion of the restored Urizen.
The Valar (singular Vala) are characters in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. They are "gods" or "angelic beings" subordinate to the one God ( Eru Ilúvatar); they are the Ainur who chose to go into the World ( Arda) and complete its material development after its form was determined by the Music of the Ainur ( Ainulindalë). They are mentioned in The Lord of the Rings, but were developed earlier in material published posthumously in The Silmarillion and The History of Middle-earth.
The term Valar is applied occasionally by Tolkien to include all of the Ainur who entered the world, but more frequently to refer specifically to the fourteen most powerful of them, the "Lords and Ladies of the Valar".