Friday, August 26, 2011

Just What is CellScript?

I had jumped in and started implementing CellScript using a book on JavaScript I’d bought and the ECMAScript Language Specification Edition 3 as my guides. But after I had some of the basic language features working, I needed to give myself more concrete direction – it was time to define just what would be in CellScript.

First of all, CellScript is only a small subset of JavaScript. All I wanted were the basic features that any programming language has: evaluating expressions, conditional (“if”) statements, looping constructs, etc. I didn’t want to try to implement any of the special features of JavaScript. I needed to draw the line at what was in and what was out.

Second, CellScript needs to extend JavaScript so it can access and control features of the WebCell. This is done by adding “host objects”, such as the Net object for dealing with the network interface or the File object for managing files on the SD card.

In late February 2009 I created the CellScript Language Reference. My productivity had started to lag as I paused each time I finished a feature to figure out what was next – or worse, spun my wheels. Once the spec was written, I was able to charge ahead.

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