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(Microsoft) KindScript – A kinder JavaScript experience

KindScript – A kinder JavaScript experience

(Microsoft) KindScript – A kinder JavaScript experience

KindScript is a platform for creating special-purpose programming experiences for beginners, especially focused on computer science education. KindScript’s underlying programming language is a subset of TypeScript (leaving out JavaScript dynamic features).

The main features of KindScript are:

  • a Blockly-based code editor along with converter to the text format
  • an ACE-based text editor with enhanced, robust auto-completion and auto-correction
  • extensibility support to define new blocks in TypeScript
  • an ARM Thumb machine code emitter
  • a command-line package manager

Build

First, install Node ( http://nodejs.org/ ). Then install the following:

npm install -g jake npm install -g tsd 

To build the KindScript command line tools:

tsd reinstall npm install jake 

Then install the kind command line tool (only need to do it once):

npm install -g kindscript-cli 

After this you can run kind from anywhere within the build tree.

To start the local web app server do kind serve within the root directory of build tree (where this file sits) and then browse to http://localhost:3232

TODOs

package mgr + compiler

  • image literals
  • code in top-level scope
  • only compile what’s needed
  • don’t emit unused global vars
  • testFiles: [ … ] in yelm.json
  • class methods
  • constructors
  • disallow direct references to class members (cannot copy JS semantics)
  • optional arguments
  • default arguments
  • +=, -= etc
  • += on strings
  • proper caching for x.f++, x.f += … etc
  • function f() {…}; control.inBackground(f) in local scope
  • function f() {…}; control.inBackground(f) in global scope
  • //% shim=… weight=… help=… etc insteaf of {shim:…}
  • bit operators (&, |, etc)
  • use "(x + y) | 0" etc instead of "x + y" in simulator
  • do not generate empty action bodies for shim
  • check on compiler performance (1000ms on lang-test0)
  • forever() seems to have issues
  • skip unreferenced globals when initilized with literal
  • foo${bar}baz
  • x ? a : b
  • x as T support
  • check on ("foo" + true)
  • simulator at sim-microbit.kindscript.net
  • ptr-<username>-* as the main way publishing packages
  • lambdas returning values (maybe just works?)
  • clear variables when they get out of scope to limit memory usage
  • allow use of floating point for non-native targets
  • do not DECR no-closure functions
  • after uninstall pouch db throws 404 after reload
  • in simulator currResume start loop() in nextTick

  • enum support without enumval= (esp for non-hex targets)

  • switch() statement support
  • % operator
  • error for ‘shim:foo’ (ie. shim=true)
  • lib compile mode – no reachability, test shims
  • inline assembly

Bigger items

  • generate .d.ts from .cpp
  • generate .d.ts from simulator code
  • debugger hooks
  • auto-fix of parenthesis
  • integrate TD converter
  • think about package versioning (semver?)

Maybe

  • virtual methods
  • 3-way merge upon sync
  • class field initializers (?)
  • support Enum.X + 0 etc ?

web app

  • make blocks output file read only
  • do not type-check while auto-completing
  • scroll completion window with keyboard
  • indent when entering first character on a line
  • save source in hex
  • Save json
  • Drag and drop load
  • Link up simulator
  • Flag to hide from TS auto completion (eg: set sprite property with enum)
  • add markdown processor for docs
  • help for specific arguments
  • stepping debugger
  • attaching runtime warning to specific lines of code or block

converter from TD to TS (different repo)

  • multi-line strings into backtick literals
  • use bit operators for bits.XYZ
  • fish out {shim:…} and friends
  • {hints:…} -> @param x Blah, eg: 100, 200 (?)
  • async is flipped
  • use expr as Type not <Type> expr

Docs

We use mkdocs to generate the docs under the /docs folder. To setup mkdocs,

pip install mkdocs mkdocs serve open http://127.0.0.1:8000 

License

MIT

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