Posts Tagged "MiniScript"

Debugging with a Validate Method

Joe Strout —

I was live streaming a coding session today, wrapping up a Tetris clone in Mini Micro. All was going swimmingly until suddenly we noticed a bug: after clearing a line, subsequent pieces would sometimes stop before hitting anything. Upon closer inspection, we noticed that the higher-up lines, after moving down to fill the cleared row, often had blocks in the wrong place.

What ensued was an abnormally long debugging session. I tried confessional debugging; I tried walking through the code; I tried checking my assumptions by having the code print out what it was doing. After 20 minutes of this I was still stumped. In desperation, I reached for a tool I should have brought out much faster: the validate method.

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VT100 Escape Codes in Command-Line MiniScript

Joe Strout —

MiniScript is most commonly used either in the Mini Micro virtual computer, or embedded within some other game or application. However it is also available on the command line. A command-line MiniScript user asked me the other day: is there a way to clear the terminal window from code?

The answer is, yes and no. There is no built-in API for it, but in most cases, it can be done with an ancient set of tricks known as VT100 escape codes.

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Why MiniScript?

Joe Strout —

As more and more people discover MiniScript, the question is occasionally asked: why? Why was MiniScript created, and why should someone use it rather than some other language?

It's a perfectly valid question, so in this post I will try to clarify. My purpose is not to convince anyone of anything, but to explain why, after years of using other scripting languages, I felt compelled to create something new. I'll do this without attacking other languages, since every language has its fans and I don't want to kick anybody's dog; instead I'll focus on what I think is really cool about MiniScript, and how it offers a collection of advantages that, taken together, can't be found anywhere else.

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MiniScript Goes Open-Source

Joe Strout —

MiniScript has been available as a Unity plugin since 2017. But it has been such a success with its users that it deserved wider distribution. MiniScript in Unreal games, MiniScript on the command line, MiniScript in your browser... why not? And while it was great to get a little financial support for working on MiniScript in the early days, in the long run keeping it commercial only slows down its adoption. That's why, as of today, MiniScript is open-source.

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