Release Note (v0.3)


Version 0.3

ELI version 0.3 ELI New has been released on August 10, 2015. In this new version, ELI system has been greatly improved by adding several useful functions for database systems. The debut of ELI Studio shows a preliminary, but productive IDE for developers, especially for beginners. Moreover, ELI Studio is a cross-platform version for Windows, Linux and MacOS.

Prior Version 0.2a

The last stable ELI interpreter was released on November 30, 2013. At the time, it supported most of the functionality of the ISO APL standard. Moreover, we introduced dictionaries, tables and SQL-like statements to enhance ELI system. Compared with a compiled language, an interpreted language is more attractive to users by providing an interactive environment. Two tutorials have been released since the last update: <Programming with arrays> and <ELI for Kids>. Moreover, ELI primer and other documents also have been updated and can be found in online documents.


Many new features are introduced in this newly released version; we also fixed several old bugs and made effort to improve the ELI system.

ELI Studio

  • New IDE support for ELI


  • like is similar to the classic database string pattern matching and regular expression search

    'name.cpp'  like '%.cpp'    //1
    'eli1.esf'  like 'eli_.esf' //1
    'eli23.esf' like 'eli_.esf' //0


  • New primitive function match (~) checks the value of two variables, returns either same (1) or not (0). Usually, match is used in debugging programs to check the variable value.

    Measure Match

Printing Precision Control

  • []PP controls the precision of the output of floating point

    Control Floating Precision

Performance Measurement

  • )time is able to measure the one line execution time

    Measure Time

Standard Input

  • [] with standard input from users

    Standard Input Input Result

Date-Time Attributes

  • Temporal attributes for date & time types (i.e. d.year)

    Date Time

File Handle

  • To output to afile, ELI provides[]open and []close which open and close a file handle respectively. With a []open, a file handle will be returned for further output. The syntax looks like C++’s stream output (std::out<<'text').

  • Save value in a **file1.txt.* *

    File Handler Code

  • Find the saved file under the current directory

    Saved File

  • In Input, []get imports data from ‘text files’ as lists. In each item of the list, it is one line string. On the other words, the size of the list is the number of rows in the designated file.


  • A table can be output by []write with four kinds of format support so far. They are csv, xml, json and txt. The default format is txt. The designated format is defined by the suffix of the output filename. ** Note **: == The file name should be the same as the table’s name. ==

  • Create a table in interpreter and save it as a csv file. The output file can be found in the current workspace directory.

    Save CSV

  • Try extra three formats.

    Other 3 formats

  • A screenshot of the csv file


  • A screenshot of the xml file


  • A screenshot of the json file


  • A screenshot of the txt file


Semi Colon (;)

  • In most programming languages (C, Java and etc.), the semicolon is popular to be used at the end of one statement. It also enables multiple statements written in single line. In ELI, one line may contain multiple statements which are executed from left to right. However, the execution order inside the statements follows ELI native order: from right to left.

    Semi Colon

More Data types

  • Type Type Value Symbol Example
    Boolean 0 B 0,1
    Integer 1 I 123
    Float 2 E 2.5
    Char 3 C ‘abc’
    Complex 4 X 1.5j2
    Symbol 5 S `ibm
    List 6 L (`chen `wu;10 20)
    Month 7 M 2012.08m
    Date 8 D 2012.08.15
    Datetime 9 Z 2012.08.15T13:25:17.357
    Minute 10 U 13:25
    Second 11 V 13:25:17
    Time 12 T 13:25:17.357
    Enumeration 21 N ...
    Dictionary 91 Y ...
    Keyed Table 91 K ...
    Table 92 A ...


  • Short function is able to define recursive functions (call itself)
  • Better support for control structure
  • Fix some trivial bugs

ELI Studio

The main reason we introduce ELI studio is to offer a consistent release for cross-platform ELI system. Because in prior versions we only support GUI on Windows, people with Linux and Mac OS have to use command line input In fact, popular Linux versions (i.e. Ubuntu) and Mac OS have an excellent GUI interface for users. With an integrated development environment (IDE), newbies have less stress to learn a new programming language.

The ELI Studio has two parts: main window and code editor. The main window is a terminal window which enables developers to test their code easily. Since ELI provides scripting facilities (eli script file, called esf), a code editor is a good addition for developers to build and test scripts efficiently.

Main Window

Inherited from previous ELI version on Windows, the main window accepts the basic layouts with normal six spaces ahead of an input line to clearly differentiate with the following line of system response. Also, the multiple line editing (see example 1) is enabled.

There are some new features as follows.

  • Paste with multiple lines can be handled just like executing line by line except the last line
  • Three widgets monitor functions and variables in the workspace, ELI scripts in the current directory and command history respectively
  • Click on the ELI script widget, then the selected script will be automatically loaded into the workspace
  • Click on a line in the command history widget, then the selected command will be copied into the main window and executed
  • Additional functionalities that can be found on menus are workspace load and save, workspace path setting and offline documentation support

Code Editor

Code Editor is an option for users to easily write and test code in ELI interpreter environment. It is designed for fast loading of scripts and line-by-line execution. Other than basic operations such as editing (i.e. load, save, undo and redo), it provides the following additional features for ELI developers.

  • A symbol table (CTRL+T) that helps newbies to easily remember and understand primitive symbols.
  • fload Loading scripts into workspace. The scripts should be in esf format which has been saved somewhere on your computer. It has the same effect as you type )fload yourscript in the main window if you have saved the scripts under the current workspace path.
  • fcopy Copying scripts into the workspace. Unlike the loading scripts into workspace, it does not clear the whole workspace before loading the saved content. Therefore, it is a safe way to load your scripts without clearing out the existing workspace.
  • code copy Executing selected blocks of code as a script. It is useful for loading functions, variables and multiple lines of code. Since the function and variable definitions (with @. and &) are not accepted in interpreter input, this facility eases the work of saving scripts every time.
  • oneline One line where the current cursor stays will be executed and the cursor doesn’t move after the execution.
  • oneline2 One line will be executed and the cursor will automatically move to the following line. It is a debugging tool to test code one by one line.