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Author Topic:   uCalc Language Builder January 2007 beta released
Daniel Corbier
posted 01-31-2007 06:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daniel Corbier     Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
A new beta for uCalc Language Builder was uploaded today.

It has been well over a year since the last one. This beta represents a complete break from the previous series of uCalc Fast Math Parser betas that were released in 2005 and before. Early in 2006, I took the risk of starting the project over, entirely from scratch; without transferring even a line of code from the old to the new DLL. It has taken time for this new implementation to catch up to where I left off in previous betas. However, the change turns out to have been well worth it, as the new approach is simpler, works faster, and is more flexible than ever before. It is also considerably easier for me to develop using this new approach than it was with the old code. There is still quite a bit of work left. However, at this stage, there is enough material to already give you a very good idea of what's in store.

Here is a partial list of some of the main differences between the old approach and the new:

- Instead of a growing number of new routines, now there is basically only one exported DLL function, uCalc(), to deal with. With just one exported routine from which all of uCalc's functionality is derived [plus a couple of minor exports], it should be significantly simpler to document and implement uCalc for various compilers.

- The component now has no built-in functions, operators, syntax constructs, data types, keywords, symbols, or anything else that is hard-coded. You are given a blank slate and a few key tools with which to construct your language, unobstructed by hardwired restraints. (There is, however, a library of common items to pick from, should you need them).

- The method for defining syntax constructs was revamped. At the surface, it will appear similar, but the implementation was re-designed to make it easier and more flexible.

- There is now a special bootstrap language for constructing your own languages. The syntax construction feature represents only one aspect of it.

- The previous betas required you to define callback functions in a certain uCalc-specific way. Now you can directly call any standard function defined in a DLL without first having to create a special uCalc wrapper for it. Therefore, you can make calls to the Windows API, or other ready-made library components without much consideration.

In the previous betas, uCalc Fast Math Parser (uCalc FMP) was the main component. Now the main component is the Language Builder. The old FMP demos are not even featured for now. The demonstration in this beta consists of an interactive interpreter, along with the bootstrap source code for a BASIC language (more languages to come).

For those who aren’t into language building, something like the plain uCalc FMP should be available soon. If you are a PowerBASIC user, you will already find a ready-made (though not complete) uCalc Fast Math Parser’s Include file for it in this beta. However, as mentioned earlier, there’s really just one main export. So functions like ucEval, ucParse, ucReleaseItem, etc… are actually just wrappers for the new uCalc() function.

The link for the beta download is www.ucalc.com/beta/ucjan07b.zip


- There is no guaranty as to the date of release for the next version.
- There is no guaranty as to the features of the next version.
- There is no guaranty as to the suitability of this version for
purposes other than beta testing.
- All parts of the beta version are subject to change without notice,
and without regard to compatibility from one beta version to the next.
- A license for the beta cannot be purchased. Until the next version is
no longer in beta, only a license for version 2.0 can be purchased.

Daniel Corbier
UCalc FMP author

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