What is the status of the "The Island, The Ocean, The Pond" roadmap?

As a developer for 40 years who knows multiple languages I watched the original “The Island, The Ocean, The Pond” video from a couple of years ago. I was wondering what the expected release date for JS, C#, Java, Python and other langauges is? From what I know about languages I would expect this to take until after 2030 to have all these integrated as it is a super complex task, but I would love to be wrong


Hello @yazz.com

Well …
If you are referring to IELE / KEVM part then:

Milkomeda beat them to EVM Solidity dApp building and bridging.

Harmonic Labs beat them to offering TypeScript like smart contract language with plu_ts

OpShin beat them to offering 100% valid Python code for building smart contracts

dcSpark beat them to offering a cross-chain and EVM ready gaming creation software.

So unless they got some MEGA plans for Midnight (or some other side chain) not sure I see the point of putting any effort or resources in that.

Just keep in mind that IOHK was one of the founding entities of Cardano. That company grew into IOG, which is just a private company owned by one of the founders. People keep treating IOG as if it is Cardano Foundation and non-profit. IOG is for profit contractor that is contracted to develop Cardano. So if someone else beats them to it, there is no reason for them to keep wasting resources on it.

IOG domain still seem to be Marlow, Plutus, Sidechains, Nodes, Hydra… So look them up for those.
Otherwise check out the links above for other stuff. :smiley:


Hi Neo,
Thanks so much for the detailed answer. Yes, I was referring to the IELE / KEVM part. I had heard of Milkomedia EVM, but the Typescript and Python projects are new to me and worth further investigation. I will most likely try out the “plu_ts” project to build some smart contracts. I also have some follow up thoughts if you are able to answer:

  1. From the initial “The Island, The Ocean, The Pond” talk my understanding is that what differentiated Cardano from Ethereum was that Ethereum was based on Solidity, and the external Eth languages like Vyper (although made by Vitalin) and other languages that compiled to Solidity were just bolt on languages made by companies/people who felt like it, but without any specific tooling support. I thought that Cardano was going to take a similar route to Microsoft with their CLR which they use for .NET, and make the IELE a common core, which other tools would be built around. I say this as someone who has worked in many enterprise and development shops, as developers expect to get IDE tooling, debugging, proper C# and Java support, and a host of other things which I thought that “The Island, The Ocean, The Pond” said would differentiate Cardano from Ethereum. If there is an ad hoc approach with other companies just compiling a language to Haskell, then I don’t see how this tooling can be made, which means I would see Cardano also as a “pond”, just like Ethereum. I know there is probably something that I am missing so I am just looking to be educated

  2. Also my understanding was that the KEVM VM would provide an experience where the EVM transactions would appear on the Cardano chain (I guess as transactions on the Hydra chain) so that there would be a proper integration. I don’t know yet if this is how the Milkomedia VM works, or if it works more like an Ethereum Layer 2, where you need to use the block explorer of the subchain to see transactions, and the main Eth chain just contains the result of the transactions roled up (not sure if I am explaining this well)


Hello @yazz.com

I can see that you numbered your inquires as 1 and 2, however there is about 30 questions hiding in there :sweat_smile:. I will do my best to get as many of them as I can, but some of this is way out of my area of competencies.

First, before we start there is one thing that every new dev coming to Cardano should know.
Charles is very eloquent speaker, very good educator and many find him very inspiring. However, he is not an engineer nor a coder/ programmer. You should think of him as a CEO or a project leader. So, when you hear him talk about anything that he doesn’t have immediate control over, you should just assume he is repeating the best case scenario that someone he trusts told him. Keep this in mind as you read the rest of this.

The Island, The Ocean, The Pond is a vision of how Cardano may become a part of regular crypto development cycle.

The Pond in his video is reached by EVM side chain. Basically it’s a bridge. Transactions wouldn’t be seen by Cardano mainnet until it leaves the bridge. Exactly as Milkomeda is doing now.

The Ocean in the video is all available devs and languages. Solution he proposes IELE / K is not his project. This is being built by Runtime Verification Inc (RV) and Charles has no control over it. They can and do work with IOG on Plutus+K , but this is their project and it follows their timeline and capabilities. For status of that project it is best to follow their Github:
Here is their Plutus K semantics link GitHub - runtimeverification/plutus-core-semantics
and their main repo: Runtime Verification Inc. · GitHub

The Island is the ONLY place where Charles can exert any form of meaningful managerial influence (such as timelines, dev priorities, etc…), since his company IOG is built for that purpose.

So, if RV builds their K and IELE/ VM, only then can IOG or RV build a side-chain to Cardano that is used as a “rewriter” and a test-net for other languages. That would be a lot more intensive then just a managed language in CLR since it would have that extra step from K to host language to VM. Probably couldn’t deploy directly to mainnet anyways.

It’s been only two years since smart contracts came to Cardano. It took 15 months for Plutus V2. There is a zero chance that in this short timeline you can develop anything even close to that ocean reference from the video. So, while we may not be a pond that “moves fast and breaks thing” :wink:, you can definitely see it as an island in search of an ocean with a bridge to a pond. :rofl: I guess :man_shrugging: … if you like that reference.

Whoever told you this was probably

Just having IELE and K would not solve the fact that UTxO is not compatible with account based model. That is another layer that would have to exist after rewriting the language to rewrite the code itself and make it applicable to and from UTxO. So, as it stands now it would definitely be like Layer 2.

As for IOG future plans for base standard / canonical / reference last I heard there were going to make Agda core reference that would allow for code extraction. Step such as this would be needed if anything like IELE could ever be used in more meaningful way that just raw text translation. The plans to start on this were for this summer. So may be a while before we see anything useful hit the mainnet.

For reference on this Agda talk watch 5 minute explanation here:

Also, don’t forget that Cardano is not finished building yet. We are just now hitting the last step of the roadmap, which is on chain governance. So this will be the focus of any immediate development efforts.

That is as much as I know. Hope I was able to clear up at least a few things :slightly_smiling_face:


Hi Neo,
Thanks so much for this comprehensive reply. I think that there is alot of stuff in your answer that I need to research before I reply properly to you. I guess one thing that comes to mind though is that it feels that the whole “Island, Ocean and Pond” roadmap everyone has shared with me that got me into Cardano in the first place is not necessarily achievable, as it really made me think that all coroporate developers would be using Cardano because of this native tool integration. I am not so sure now and it feels like the “Island, Ocean and Pond” video was more like a salesman in a suit promising the impossible because that was what we all wanted to hear (but packaged in a more trustworthy way).

Anyway, I need to research all of this a lot more, before I get back to you. I have a lot of thinking to do… and once again, I really appreciate your honest answer.


Hello @yazz.com

Definitely not achievable in just two years. Just like anything, more time you give it more achievable it becomes. Although, it may be in a very different form then originally planned.

In your research when you see a Cardano project you are curious about, try asking devs involved directly. You will find that Cardano devs are very open, knowledgeable and helpful. Probably one of the best dev communities in crypto space. This way you will be able to get a honest feel of the eco-system with out relying on what just one person tells you. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi Neo,
Yes, I agree, given time then it may be achievable to get to the “Island, Ocean and Pond” roadmap, which is why I think it will be after 2030. I guess for me timelines matter as in “Island, Ocean and Pond” video Cardano was the Ocean and Ethereum was pond, and I want to make sure that this isn’t flipped and Cardano doesn’t become the pond while Ethereum becomes the ocean (which could happen if things don’t progress fast enough or there isn’t a clear vision and roadmap for Cardano).

Also, that is a good idea about speaking to the developers of a project directly. Yes, I will do that. I’ll probably post other questions on the Cardano forums as I continue my quest to understand the ecosystem, and if / when I do figure it all out I can try to post a coherent reply or blog post so that it can be valuable to other members of the Crypto community, so that others can get a much better understanding of what Cardano is and it’s place in the world (ps: I love Cardano as a project and am very bullish on it, but I want to “verify” all my assumptions before I become a 100% Cardano fanboy :).



In addition to the ones mentioned by @Neo_Spank above, there’s also the Helios DSL which is great for those coming from the OOP and imperative school, especially the overwhelming number of JS devs. Helios is also far ahead of plu-ts in terms of documentation at least, and most likely in terms of features also. It just isn’t getting as much attention yet.

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