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🖊 English as a programming language

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This is English as a programming language. The main purpose of this language is to make programming accessible to many more people, more fun and to facilitate programming computers via voice.

The guiding philosophy is to have forgiving interfaces yet strict implementations, and to make sigil special chars ([email protected]#$%^&*[}...) completely optional.

UPDATE: There now is a python implementation of English Script called angle, compiling to bytecode.
Soon: Compilation to WebAssembly … and Ruby 2.3 gets bytecode as well!

📓 Examples

Here are some of our favorite examples from the tests, working today:

assert two minus 1½ equals 0.5

beep three times
(There will be a generation of programmers who will shake their heads that there ever was a programming language which did not interpret that sentence correctly.)

assert square of [1,2 and 3] equals 1,4,9

assert 3rd word in 'hi my friend' is 'friend'

x is 2; if all 0,2,4 are smaller 5 then increase x; assert x equals 3

beep every three seconds

last item in 'hi','you' is equal to 'you'
While Peter is online on Skype
    make a beep
    sleep for 10 seconds
To check if person is online on Skype:
    if result is "online": return yes 
    else return no


git clone --recursive [email protected]:pannous/english-script.git

cd english-script



Warning: The project is still in alpha, don't expect all tests to pass!

experiment by typing

./bin/angle "6 plus six"

./bin/angle samples/factorial.e

Start the shell :

rake shell

⦠ 6 plus six

⦠ beep three times

⦠ x is 2; if all 0,2,4 are smaller 5 then increase x

Check out the samples and tests!


Run the tests :

rake test

Run an angle file:

rake run[examples/test.e]

⏳ In progress

add one to every odd number in 1,2,3 == 2,2,4

The implicit list filter 'that' applies a selection criterion to all elements.

delete all files in my home folder that end with 'bak'
translates to ruby:
folder(:home){|that|that.end_with?("bak")}.map{|file| file.delete}

Implicit lambda variable 'it'

for all mails by peter: mark it as read if its subject contains 'SPAM'
translates to ruby:
mails(by: Peter).each{|it| it.mark(:read) if it.subject.match('SPAM')}

The last example also illustrates what we call matching by type name.

To delete an email
  move that email to the trash folder
Here 'mail' acts as argument name and argument type at once. No more Java style Mail mail=new Mail().getMail();

📑 Language Specification

Angle is a multi-paradigm programming language with gradual typing.

Read the DOSSIER for a more complete language specification, vision and some background.

The grammar is not meant to be linguistically complete, but functionality complete and easily extendable. It is currently running in the * ruby and python environment, but will soon compile to the * WEB(!!) thanks to WebAssembly * JVM thanks to Mirah, zippy and truffle * .Net/CLR/DLR (via Cecil, maybe Mirah too), * As a final aim: run natively, maybe similar to Crystal, Vala or RPython

Having a self-hosted "bootstrapped" compiler is an important mid-term goal.

"Premature optimization is the root of all evil." Many programming languages 'optimize' on the syntax level in order to optimize the resulting applications. Maybe this is a mistake.

To check out the current capabilities of English Script have a look at the tests, keywords and grammar

📰UPDATE: Since we love to compile our language to native or at least bytecode, we focussed on the python implementation of English script. Fortunately finally Ruby now supports bytecode as well, since version 2.3.0!

👷 Todos

  • Use the abstract syntax tree to compile instead of interpret (export via XML and Lisp s-expressions)
  • Better (real) function argument matching: Integrate the sine curve in the interval 1 to 10 with step size .1
  • Implement event system: Beep three times whenever the disc space is over 80%
  • Hook into more existing libraries (java,ifttt,rubyosa?,...)
  • IntelliJ plugin
  • Promote

This language might soon be used in our successful beloved Jeannie assistant, which has over 5 million downloads so far:

For a background story/vision/philosophy/future of this project read the DOSSIER 👾🏺

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