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About the developer

406 Stars 41 Forks Mozilla Public License 2.0 1.9K Commits 34 Opened issues


ArkScript is a small, fast, functional and scripting language for C++ projects

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ArkScript Latest version

Code size Downloads GitHub Workflow Status

Nota bene: the project is referred as "Ark" and as "ArkScript". The official public name is "ArkScript" since "Ark" is already being used by another language

Key features

ArkScript is * small: the compiler and the virtual machines fit under 8000 lines, but also small in terms of keywords (it has only 10)! * a scripting language: it's very easy to embed it in your application. The builtin construction is quite easy to understand, so adding your own functions to the virtual machine is effortless * portable: it produces a bytecode which is run by its virtual machine, the same way Java does it (with a smaller memory footprint) * a functional language: every parameter is passed by value, everything is immutable unless you use

to specify your need of mutability * powerful: it can handle object-oriented programming in a very elegant way with its closures and explicit captures (see
) * promoting functionalities before performances: expressiveness often brings more productivity, even though performances aren't left behind * easy to compile: it takes less than 200ms to compile and check a complex code with a lot of branches and sub-branches of 200 lines * a Lisp-like, but with fewer parentheses:
is expanded to
(list ...)
(begin ...)
. More shorthands will come in the future * extensible: it is very easy to create a C++ module to use it in the language, adding functionalities

Also it has: * macros: if/else, values, and functions * a REPL with autocompletion and coloration * a growing standard library, composed of ArkScript code (under

) and C++ (under
) * a lot of unit tests (but never enough), which are ran before every release to ensure everything work as intended * docker images to try the language without compiling it: * stable, images built after each release * nightly, image built after each commit


Fibonacci suite

(let fibo (fun (n)
    (if (< n 2)
        (+ (fibo (- n 1)) (fibo (- n 2))))))

(print (fibo 28)) # display 317811

More or less game

(import "random.arkm")
(import "Math.ark")

(let number (mod (abs (random)) 10000))

(mut value 0) (mut tries 0) (mut continue true)

(while continue { (set value (toNumber (input "Input a numeric value: ")))

(if (&lt; value number)
    # then
    (print "More!")
    # else
    (if (= value number)
        # then
            (print "Bingo!")
            (set continue false)
        # else
        (print "Less!")))

(set tries (+ 1 tries))


(print "You won in " tries " tries")

More examples are available inside



You can either use docker:

docker pull arkscript/stable:latest

or use the most updated repo

docker pull arkscript/nightly:latest

or build the project with CMake and install it with CMake:

cmake --install build


  • First, fork the repository
  • Then, clone your fork:
    git clone [email protected]:username/Ark.git
  • Create a branch for your feature:
    git checkout -b feat-my-awesome-idea
  • When you're done, push it to your fork and submit a pull request!

Don't know what to work on? No worries, we have a list of things to do :wink:

Related projects

We have other projects tightly related to ArkScript, which aren't necessarily C++ oriented: * the Request For Comments, where we discuss new features for the language * the standard library, written in ArkScript itself * the standard library modules, extending the capacities of the language, written in C++ * ArkDoc, a documentation generator à la doxygen, for ArkScript, written in Python 3 * our website written in HTML, CSS and JavaScript

Our beloved contributors

Full list here.

Coding guidelines for contributing

See C++ Coding guidelines if you want to contribute to ArkScript compiler / runtime.

Also, see ArkScript Coding guidelines for other files, written in ArkScript.

For performance reasons, some functions might be written in C++, in


Code structure

ArkScript code structure



  • C++17
  • CMake >= 3.12
  • Visual Studio >= 11 (on Windows)
  • On macOS versions prior to 10.15,
    in the standard library.
    • Install a newer compiler using Homebrew:
      brew install gcc && brew link gcc
    • Pass compiler path to
      in the build step:

All the external libraries we use are already included in thirdparties.

Through CMake

Different CMake switches are available to customize the build: *

to generate an executable, defaults to Off, building a shared library only *
to enable
(execute shell commands without restrictions), defaults to On *
to enable the coz profiler, defaults to Off *
to count every creation/copy/move of the internal value type, defaults to Off *
to avoid the installation of the ArkScript standard library *
to trigger the modules build
# first, clone it
git clone --depth=50 --branch=dev
cd Ark
git submodule update --init --recursive
# building Ark
cmake . -Bbuild -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release -DARK_BUILD_EXE=On
cmake --build build --config Release
# installing Ark (might need administrative privileges)
cmake --install build --config Release

Desired output of

arkscript --help
: ```bash DESCRIPTION ArkScript programming language

SYNOPSIS ark -h ark -v ark --dev-info ark -e ark -c [-d] ark -bcr -on ark -bcr [-(a|st|vt)] [-s ] ark -bcr [-cs] [-p ] ark [-d] [-L ] [-f(fac|no-fac)] [-f(ruv|no-ruv)]

OPTIONS -h, --help Display this message -v, --version Display ArkScript version and exit --dev-info Display development information and exit -e, --eval Evaluate ArkScript expression -c, --compile Compile the given program to bytecode, but do not run -d, --debug... Increase debug level (default: 0) -bcr, --bytecode-reader Launch the bytecode reader -on, --only-names Display only the bytecode segments names and sizes -a, --all Display all the bytecode segments (default) -st, --symbols Display only the symbols table -vt, --values Display only the values table -s, --slice Select a slice of instructions in the bytecode -cs, --code Display only the code segments -p, --page Set the bytecode reader code segment to display -L, --lib Set the location of the ArkScript standard library -f(fac|no-fac) Toggle function arity checks (default: ON) -f(ruv|no-ruv) Remove unused variables (default: ON)

LICENSE Mozilla Public License 2.0 ```




You can find a snake created in ArkScript in the folder examples/games/snake (run it from there, otherwise it won't find the font and the sprites ; you won't need to install the SFML).


Controls are the arrows (left, right, up and down), the game closes itself when you successfully collect the 3 apples.

The donators

Huge thanks to those people for their donations to support the project: * TheCountVEVO * llexto


This project was inspired by gameprogramingpatterns and ofan lisp.cpp

Copyright and Licence information

Copyright (c) 2019-2021 Alexandre Plateau. All rights reserved.

This ArkScript distribution contains no GNU GPL code, which means it can be used in proprietary projects.

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