By Andrew J. Wozniewicz
Milwaukee, July 21, 2008
I finally found some time to work on WANT again and here is the initial
result. I just posted WANTScript.zip containing WANT.exe and a handful of WANTScript test samples (*.want) to the Sandbox.
The sample files should give one a reasonable understanding of what
WANTScript (the language) is all about. I'll just say that it is a much
simplified incarnation of my toy-project, Modula-7.
Unlike Modula-7, WANTScript is - for now - a procedural, interpreted
language specifically for scripting. The simplification made it possible for
me to create an initial working implementation now, rather than in an
unspecified future when I would ideally iron out all the kinks from
Modula-7. WANTScript will continue to borrow heavily from Modula-7, but it
will always be its poor, interpreted and simpler cousin.
You should expect most typical procedural programming features to work at
expressive power, although it is still missing some of the more involved
capabilities (lists in particular, to name one). But the typical constructs
like loops, if-then conditionals, arithmetic expressions, subroutines
(procedures and functions), and the like, should all definitely work now, as
attested to by the sample scripts. There are a few surprises there, for a
curious observer - features not typically found in other programming
languages - so be sure to check them out.
The interpreter incorporates a couple of built-in modules that are available
to be imported into your programs. The included modules are: System,
System.IO.Console, System.Reflection, and System.Utilities. I will post some documentation on
what's available in each of these shortly, but for now, you can refer to the
Pascal source files of each of these modules, also posted in the sandbox, or
to the WANTScript sample files, which utilize all the currently available
The idea going forward is that the functionality specific to WANT will be
implemented in a built-in module/namespace called WANT. The currently
available built-in modules serve as examples of how to extend the basic
interpreter with user-defined additions. That's how WANT-specific features
are going to be implemented in the end.
The documentation of the language is currently non-existent beyond the
sample scripts. I will, consequently, be monitoring closely the WANT forum to answer any initial questions anyone might have.
I would greatly appreciate any feedback regarding the language. It is still
evolving and - most importantly - I am still continuing to test its
features. It would be great if people could come up with sample scripts that
attempt to "break" the interpreter.