ABS 1.7.0: ctrl+r and other optimizations

A few days ago I released a new minor version of the ABS programming language, 1.7.0, which adds some syntactic sugar as well as improvments to the REPL — let’s get to them!

Reverse search in the REPL through ctrl+r

You can type something in the REPL and, by pressing ctrl+r, ABS will try to find the last command that was executed that matches what you typed.

See it in action:

asciicast

If you press ctrl+r multiple times, the REPL will walk its way back into the history to find the previous command matching your input, until it reaches the end of the history.

This feature has been implemented thanks to some improvements in go-prompt, so hats off to Masashi Shibata for helping out!

Number abbreviations

Easily my favorite, this feature allows you to append a suffix to a number in order to specify the “order of magnitude” of the number itself. Confused? It’s actually quite simple:

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1k # 1000 - thousand
1m # 1000000 - million
1b # 1000000000 - billion
1t # 1000000000000 - trillion

Suffixes are case-insensitive, so you can express 1000000 with either 1m or 1M.

Improvements to some builtin functions

We’ve decided to ease using some of the standard functions: you can now, for example, print a message before exiting a script directly through the exit function.

Your code would have previously looked like:

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if err {
    echo("an error occurred, goodbye!")
    exit(1)
}

while now you can simply do:

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if err {
    exit(1, "an error occurred, goodbye!")
}

Similarly, we made it easier to use the replace function on strings: you can now omit the last argument (number of replacements), with its default value being -1 (no limit):

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"aaa".replace("a", "b", -1) # "bbb"

# is now the same as

"aaa".replace("a", "b") # "bbb"

and you can now also specify a list of characters to replace:

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"a_0".replace(["a", "_", "0"], "b") # "bbb"

Now what?

Install ABS with a simple one-liner:

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bash <(curl https://www.abs-lang.org/installer.sh)

…and start scripting like it’s 2019!


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