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Getting Started

A beginner's introduction to using ByteSkript's basic features and running scripts.
ByteSkript allows scripts to be run in a standalone environment from the command-line. Some versions may be attached to other applications (e.g. a Minecraft server) but for simplicity this guide assumes you are using the basic version.

Installing ByteSkript

The latest ByteSkript version can be downloaded from the GitHub Releases page.
There is one main executable Jar here, with three main goals.
  • run: loads and runs user-created scripts. This is the best option for creating and running scripts locally.
  • jar: compiles scripts into an executable jar file. This is useful for building shareable versions of the program with no dependencies.
  • compile: compiles scripts into raw classes. This is designed for language developers - these files are not directly executable.
This guide is written for using the run command.
Make sure you have Java installed.
ByteSkript always runs on the latest Java version (currently 17.)

Setting up Your Environment

The first time you run ByteSkript it will create all of the necessary folders and files for you.
  1. 1.
    Place the downloaded ByteSkript.jar into an empty folder.
  2. 2.
    Run the Jar file with java -jar path/to/ByteSkript.jar. Windows users can do this through command prompt or by creating a clickable bat file. Mackintosh/Linux users can do this through terminal or by creating a clickable shell file.
This should create four folders next to the ByteSkript jar.
The skript/ folder is the most important.
This is where you put the scripts you write. Any .bsk file in this directory will be run.
This is where you can install third-party syntax libraries. Place the Jar/class in this folder.
This is for adding extra text/data files that you want to package inside your compiled scripts. If you are using run you do not need to use this folder.
If you are using compile or jar the compiled output will go here.

Installing the CLI

ByteSkript comes with a command-line interface that can be installed to your system, and will run the Jar file from anywhere through the bsk command.
Installers can be downloaded from the GitHub. Not all systems support a command-line interface.

Writing Your First Script

Any file with a name ending in .bsk in the skript/ folder will be seen and loaded by ByteSkript.
While a basic app like Notepad++ or TextEdit is sufficient, a code-editing app like GitHub's Atom, Microsoft's VSCode or JetBrains's IntelliJ may be more useful.
Start by creating a new script file called myscript.bsk in the skript/ folder. You can open this file in your editor app.
For testing, we can start by writing a simple trigger for the on [script] load event.
This on load event will be run when your script is loaded, but never again.
on load:
trigger: // the code to be run goes inside triggers
print "hello" // prints hello to the command-line
Our trigger: section needs to be indented inside the on load: event. This is to tell ByteSkript that the trigger belongs to this event.
You can indent using tabs or spaces (2, 4, 8, etc.) but not a mixture of both!
The print "hello" effect will print a line to the system output (command-line.) You can read more about this and other effects in the documentation.
Once you've saved your myscript.bsk file, you can run it using the run command.
You should see a "hello" output in your console.
java -jar ByteSkript.jar run
By default, the program will run until you kill it by closing the console window. On a UNIX terminal, CTRL + C will end the program.
If we want it to end automatically, we can add an exit program effect to our trigger.
This effect will end the JVM process. If we re-run the run command now, it will automatically terminate after printing hello to the console.

Introducing Another Effect

Let's make our program a little more complex and introduce the wait effect.
on load:
print "hello"
wait 3 seconds // waits for three seconds
print "I waited for you"
exit program
In this version, the program will wait for three seconds before printing the second output. Nothing will happen during this time.

Introducing a Variable

Currently our program is very simple. To add more complex behaviour, we will need to introduce variables.
Variables are in-program containers to store data. There are currently four types, but for now we will use the most basic one.
Variables use a {var_name} pattern. The name can contain alphaneumeric characters and _ but must start with an a-z letter character.
Instead of directly printing "hello" we can try introducing a variable.
on load:
set {var} to "hello" // sets the variable
print {var} // gets the variable value
exit program
For more information about using variables see here.

Adding a Function

Rather than writing all of our code inside the load event trigger, we can organise it by breaking it up into separate functions.
We can add a new function to the same myscript.bsk file.
function my_function:
print "This was run from a function!"
The function ... declaration goes on the root level of the file and is not indented.
Our whole file should now look like this.
on load:
set {var} to "hello"
print {var}
exit program
function my_function:
print "This was run from a function!"
Currently, our function won't do anything since nothing is running it.
We can call it using the run effect with run my_function().
on load:
set {var} to "hello"
print {var}
run my_function() // my_function will be run here
print "a function was run" // this happens after the function finishes
exit program
function my_function:
print "this was run from a function"
When running our script, we should now see the following output.
java -jar ScriptLoader.jar
this was run from a function
a function was run
To make our function more useful, we can give it some parameters. This will allow us to provide argument values when we run it.
function my_function (name, number):
print "this was run from a function"
We can use these parameters like variables with {name} and {number} inside this function.
function my_function (name, number):
print "The name is " + {name}
print "The number is " + {number}
The + operator can be used to join text together.
Running "hello " + "there" will join these to make "hello there".
In order to use this function we will need to give it the name and number arguments when it's run. We can put these inside the () brackets in the run effect.
on load:
run my_function("hello", 6)
exit program
function my_function (name, number): // "hello", 6
print "The name is " + {name} // hello
print "The number is " + {number} // 6
We can also use variables as function arguments.
on load:
set {a} to "Bob"
set {b} to 4
run my_function({a}, {b})
exit program
function my_function (name, number):
print "The name is " + {name} // Bob
print "The number is " + {number} // 4
To learn more about using functions, see here.
To learn more about using variables, see here.
This site contains documentation for all syntax and language features, with explanations, examples and information about how they work.
By experimenting with the provided examples and following the simple grammar rules you should be able to learn the language quickly and use it.

Running Your Scripts

To run your scripts, simply follow the same instructions as when setting up ByteSkript.
Scripts can be run with java -jar path/to/ByteSkript.jar run or by clicking your shell/bat file, if you created one.
This will tell ByteSkript to load and run all scripts with the .bsk extension inside the skript/ folder.
An on load event will be triggered for each one.

Using the Jar Builder?

If you used jar instead of run, a new Jar file will have been created in the compiled/ folder. It will be called CompiledScripts.jar by default, but you can change the name.
This Jar file can be run using java -jar path/to/CompiledScripts.jar.