Saturday, October 11, 2014

Try Before You Buy OR REPLs in the Browser

"Now follow – if thou darest – to try whose right"-- Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream
Act III, Scene II, Line 336

"Can't someone else do it?"
-- Homer Simpsons, Trash of the Titans

One of the hardest things to do is setting up a new programming environment.  Things have improve a lot over the years, but it still be a very daunting task to set up a programming environment for a language you do not even know.  Often in the past I would ask myself, "can't someone else do it?"

Someone else has!  Try a REPL in your browser today!

Luckily many programming environments are waiting for you right now as REPLs in your browser.

A REPL is a Read Evaluate Print Loop, which works how it sounds:

Read input (in the form of code)
Evaluate input
Print result of input
Loop back to top

Today you can now play around with many different programming language from the comfort of your browser by using a REPL.

Here are two that I enjoy:

Clojure instaREPL
Try Haskell!

There is also which has an impressive collection of languages including: Ruby, Forth, JavaScript, Roy, and even Brainfuck, to name a few.

Clojure instaREPL and Try Haskell! are a bit more like an actual REPL running on your computer than, but does offer languages which are not normally associated with REPLs (other than Ruby).

One last thing, while TryAPL is not really a REPL, it is very awesome that you can write APL code with a simulated APL keyboard in your browser!

'Try APL today!'