ABS 1.0.0: here we go!

Alex Nadalin
Feb 19 · 3 min read

Eventually, the time has come: ABS 1.0.0 is finally out!

This wraps up weeks of work since I started the project a little over a month ago, and gives you a fairly stable release with all of the “must” features I originally wanted to introduce in the language.

About this release

There are 5 major talking point in this release (which I will go through in the next paragraphs), but I want to start by saying that ABS is now leaving the preview-x versioning scheme and committing to semantic versioning.

I originally didn’t want to start by using semantic versioning as I thought 0.1.0 and similar would spook users and contributors away, and opted to use the preview-x naming scheme to indicate that we’re on our way towards a stable release, with a few interediate previews to give users a taste of ABS as we implement it.

Anyhow, we’re now switching to x.y.z and will keep using semantic versioning in order to offer a strong backwards-compatibility promise. Sticking to a major release means you’re going to be able to apply minor / patch upgrades without even thinking about it.

So…enough with the chatter, let’s have a look at what’s in ABS 1.0.0!

New features

We have now added a new operator, in, for membership testing (#128): 1 in [1,2,3] will return a boolean (true in this case).

Note that you can combine in with whatever other types / operator, for example:

echo("type a number")
n = stdin().number()
return n in 1..10 # true if the user types a number between 1 and 10

In addition to the in operator, the other new feature introduced in this version is else if (#27): it might seem very trivial, but up until now you could only use if...else blocks.

Now you’re going to be able to use if...else if...else like in any other programming language:

if x {
return x
} else if y {
return y
} else {
return z

Bug fixes

Two nasty issues were solved within this version:

  • you can now call json() on strings representing all literal JSON data types: earlier you weren’t able to '[1, 2, 3]'.json() as only objects were supported (#54)
  • just like in a lot of other major programming languages, ABS strings now support special characters such as \n. If you use double quotes these characters will be converted to their ASCII control codes, whereas if you use single quotes the literal \n will appear. This is implemented for \n, \r and \t (#130)
⧐  [1,2,3].join("\n")
⧐ [1,2,3].join('\n')


  • [].contains(x) is now deprecated in favor of the in operator, and will be removed in the next major release (2.0.0)

Thanks to…

A big thank you to Rick who managed to implement #130 which was pending for quite some time.

Without his help, it would have taken a while longer to get 1.0.0 out of the way :)

What’s next?

Ready to increase your productivity with a shell script that looks modern and simple? Then:

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

…and start scripting like it’s 2019!

Bonus point: what’s next for ABS?

We’re now going to focus working on 2 releases:

  • 1.0.X, which brings bugfixes to 1.0.0
  • 1.1.X, which is going to start adding new functionality (have a look at the roadmap here): it’s going to be an exciting release as we will be probably introducing functionalities such as time manipulation as well as parallel commands


Originally published at odino.org.
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