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If you’re thinking about creating your own programming language, you’re in good company—some of the most popular programming languages today were created by individual developers working in their spare time. But just because creating a new programming language isn’t rocket science doesn’t mean it’s easy! To help get you started, here are six easy steps to follow when creating your own programming language.
Define Your Target Audience
This is one of those initial questions that you need to figure out before getting started. You can’t create your programming language without having a clear understanding of who will be using it. If you have no idea, that’s okay—you just have some research ahead of you. Make sure you know as much about your audience as possible and try not to make any assumptions about their technical knowledge level. If your target audience is non-technical people, then you may want to consider removing complex syntax or rewording commands so they make more sense to everyone involved.
- First, you need to figure it out before getting started.
- Just have some research.
- Don’t make any assumptions about their technical knowledge level.
- Consider removing complex syntax or rewording commands to make more sense.
Choose An Existing Language You Can Work With
C++, C#, Java, Python, and Ruby are all good languages for creating new programming languages. For example, if you choose C++ as your base language then you can create an entirely new language based on C++. This will save you time and allow you to take advantage of any existing resources such as documentation and libraries that already exist for C++. Also if multiple programmers will be working on your project having an established language such as these is usually a good idea so everyone has some code they can work with or fall back on should they need it. You might also want to consider choosing a language like Java or Python because they are easier than others to read and understand because they’re more English-like languages.
- You can create an entirely new language based on C++.
- Save your time.
- Take advantage of any existing resources such as documentation.
- Java or Python is easier than other languages to use.
Start Writing Documentation
Documentation is an often-overlooked but crucial part of any new programming language. Before you can even run your code, you have to have some way of explaining what it does and how it works. Also, if other people are going to work with your language, they’re going to need documentation! Start creating documentation as soon as possible—this might be a GitHub wiki or an extensive comment block in one of your scripts. Documenting while you build will help ensure that when you do release something, people won’t think it’s garbage because they can’t figure out how to use it!
- You need to start creating documentation.
- Documenting while you build helps you to do release something.
Implement An Interpreter/Compiler/Virtual Machine
If you’re not familiar with these terms, don’t worry. In very simple terms, an interpreter is a program that executes another program; it reads instructions from source code and does what those instructions say. The virtual machine is where instructions are stored for later execution. Writing software for compilation takes more time but can result in higher performance and smaller binaries. Depending on your personal circumstances, you might decide that writing a virtual machine or compiled software doesn’t make sense for your language; if so, skip ahead to steps 3 through 5. However, it may be helpful to write an interpreter/compiler first so you can have some experience under your belt before moving on.
- Executes another program.
- Read instructions from source code and does what those instructions say.
- Takes more time but can result in high performance and smaller binaries.
- Helpful to write an interpreter/compiler so that you can have some experience.
Add Support For Existing Standards (optional)
Adding support for existing standards such as Node.js’s CommonJS or ECMAScript’s built-in objects is a way of giving yourself an edge on execution speed and discoverability—if other developers have already implemented what you’re building, they can find it by using their search engine of choice. It also saves time and effort, because you aren’t working at reinventing wheels others have already built. This is generally optional, however; depending on your reasons for creating your own language, you may not need external users quite yet (particularly if you intend to use it internally).
- Give yourself an edge on execution speed and discoverability.
- Can find it by using their search engine of choice.
- It saves time and effort.
- You may not need external users quite yet.
Put It Out There
So, you have created your new programming language. You have established yourself as an expert in your field. The next step is getting your language adopted by developers and building a community around it. You need to get people talking about and using your programming language so that it gets built into toolchains and can be used to build software. One of my favorite strategies for doing so is writing articles on platforms like InfoQ. While InfoQ is focused on enterprise development topics, there are other sites like Reddit or Hacker News where you can participate with developers at all levels of expertise (and who may very well be looking for something new to try out). Submit articles describing how easy it is to use your language. If you are interested to learn new coding skills, the Entri app will help you to acquire them very easily. Entri app is following a structural study plan so that the students can learn very easily. If you don’t have a coding background, it won’t be any problem. We start courses from the very basics. You can download the Entri app from the google play store and enroll in your favorite course.