How would you like to test a new scripting language?

I’m developing a new, multi-platform scriping language, something like Protobuf and JSON combined. It works on C++, C#, and Java. So, my question is, how would you prefer to try a new scripting language like that? JAR, lib, source code, online editor, or what? Any comments of any languages and options above would be appreciated!

Hi,

I don’t mean to sound disparaging, but before even thinking about how to test it, I’d want to answer the question why I would want to test it.

I’m pretty invested in my technologies of choice and time is a precious commodity. What does your language do that others don’t?

That’s a fair question :slight_smile:
Some people are interested to test new languages etc. just for the sake of exploring something new.
In my case, however, I’m trying to provide features that other languages don’t, like versatility, flexibility, and light weight. One thing is to convince people that it’s worth trying. The next thing is to make it convenient, easy, and safe to do. At least I wouldn’t want to install any application or run suspicious code on my computer for just quickly test some new thing…

Indeed. In that case, I would be most likely to try something in the browser. Basically, whatever takes the least amount of effort until I can see if it is a good fit for me. Something like this: https://repl.it/languages/

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Yes, those editors are great! I made an editor like that for my work-in-progress language, and it’s an easy way to try the syntax etc. and to decide if you want to know more about it. For testing it in real action, I got some thoughts:

  • Providing a JAR package for Java is propably easiest and safest way
  • C++: I could provide headers and a .lib file, but there’s tons of platforms plus running a native binary code could be scary
  • C#: never made a C# library
  • There’s a command line compiler, but it’s not so useful alone (without API to access data from your source code)

Anyway, if you’re curious, try the online editor here and get more info at the frontpage.

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I usually test new languages using the following online utility:

https://learnxinyminutes.com

That’s a cool site! It’s a form of art to squeeze the essential parts of syntax to one page, so that you can learn a new language if you know few languages before.

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It helps to not confuse compilers (translators and/or interpreters or whatever) with languages.

For a language, I would want it to be public-domain (yes, the language). For example Java is proprietary, especially originally. Microsoft’s Visual Basic is proprietary. I would also want the language to be peer-reviewed, especially in the manner that C and C++ are. ISO standardizes C++, as in Standard C++. ECMA standardizes C# and ECMAScript. Oracle currently standardizes Java (correct?).

You are attempting to get people to try your language and I assume your compiler for it. You can certainly do that; I am just answering your question of what I would do.

I would also want to know what environment the language is intended for. Theoretically a language can work everywhere; that is how Java is designed. Yet Java is being phased out of the client browser environment. Have you developed a way for your language to exist in browsers like JavaScript does? I am frustrated by languages that are designed for specific environments. PHP is highly limited to web site servers. JavaScript is not often used for desktop applications.

I prefer a compiled language; for example, JavaScript is typically not compiled and the source code is there in the HTML files. There might be nothing in a language’s design that requires it to be compiled or translated or whatever so it is a little confusing whether this issue is a language design issue.

You ask about security. If the script works in a browser’s sandbox environment then security is less of a concern.

C# can be used most everywhere except browsers.

I do not know the protocol for installing a script into a browser but I assume it can be done in a manner consistent with extensions that require validation and verification and security checks.

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Good points! In my case, the compiler is integral part of the language, as the language is now primaly for data scripting, like Protocol buffers and JSON.

For example JSON, the language syntax is important, but you’d want to know how to access and create JSON data from your source code. Also, in my case, how to compile scripted data to bytecode etc.

Later on I need some peer-review and preferably some “establishment” to back it up to make it trustful to users, but at the moment I’m still starting things up.

I would definitely prefer an online editor.

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