Thursday, May 14, 2009

BiteScript 0.0.2 Scripting Examples

I just released BiteScript 0.0.2, which mainly fixes some issues defining packages and non-public classes.

BiteScript is basically just a simple DSL for generating JVM bytecode. I use it in Duby and now in the "ruby2java" compiler we'll be using to turn Ruby classes into Java classes.

I've blogged about BiteScript here before, but I realized today I never posted any simple "hello world" examples. So here's a few of them, all using the command-line "scripting" mode.

First, the simplest version:

main do
ldc "Hello, world!"

Obviously this is using a predefined "aprintln" macro, since there's no "aprintln" opcode on the JVM. Here's a longer version that shows how a macro would be defined, and accepts one argument
import java.lang.System

macro :aprintln do
getstatic System, :out, PrintStream
invokevirtual PrintStream, println, [Object]

macro :aprint do
getstatic System, :out, PrintStream
invokevirtual PrintStream, print, [Object]

main do
ldc "Hello, "
aload 0
aaload 0

And of course this is just Ruby code, so you can just use Ruby to alter the generation of code:
main do
5.times do
ldc "Wow!"

These "BiteScripts" can all be either run with the "bite" command or compiled with the "bitec" command:
$ bite examples/ 

$ bitec examples/

$ javap -c examples/using_ruby
Compiled from ""
public class examples.using_ruby extends java.lang.Object{
public static void main(java.lang.String[]);
0: ldc #9; //String Wow!
2: getstatic #15; //Field java/lang/System.out:Ljava/io/PrintStream;
5: swap
6: invokevirtual #21; //Method java/io/PrintStream.println:(Ljava/lang/Object;)V
9: ldc #9; //String Wow!
11: getstatic #15; //Field java/lang/System.out:Ljava/io/PrintStream;
14: swap
15: invokevirtual #21; //Method java/io/PrintStream.println:(Ljava/lang/Object;)V
18: ldc #9; //String Wow!
20: getstatic #15; //Field java/lang/System.out:Ljava/io/PrintStream;
23: swap
24: invokevirtual #21; //Method java/io/PrintStream.println:(Ljava/lang/Object;)V
27: ldc #9; //String Wow!
29: getstatic #15; //Field java/lang/System.out:Ljava/io/PrintStream;
32: swap
33: invokevirtual #21; //Method java/io/PrintStream.println:(Ljava/lang/Object;)V
36: ldc #9; //String Wow!
38: getstatic #15; //Field java/lang/System.out:Ljava/io/PrintStream;
41: swap
42: invokevirtual #21; //Method java/io/PrintStream.println:(Ljava/lang/Object;)V
45: return


This last example shows the resulting JVM bytecode as well.

Future plans for BiteScript include making it have better error detection (right now it just falls back on the JVM bytecode verifier, which is not the most descriptive thing in the world) and improving the API to more easily handle all the various combinations of class, field, and method modifiers. I'd also like to make it detect if you're doing bad things to the stack to save you the hassle of interpreting verification errors that may not happen until runtime.

Anyway, give it a try and feel free to contribute; the code is all Ruby, wrapping the ASM bytecode library, so anyone that knows Ruby can tweak it. The project page and wiki are hosted at

And if you're not up on the JVM or JVM bytecodes, the JVM Specification is an easy-to-read complete reference for code targeting the JVM, and here is my favorite JVM opcode quickref.

1 comment:

foo said...

I must say, it's pretty darn cool to have a little scripting language that produces JVM byte code. Not exactly my cup of tea these days. But when I was in college writing VAX assembler, something like BiteScript would have been very fun and helpful. Thanks for your post. I bet some college CompSci professors can put it to good use.