Apple unveils new open-source language "Pickle," what is it?

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Key notes

  • Apple releases a new open-source language, Pkl, for configuration management.
  • Declarative syntax and type safety promote readability, reduce errors, and enhance security.
  • Flexible for diverse configurations, from infrastructure to applications.

Tech giant Apple has ventured into the open-source arena by releasing Pkl, a programming language specifically designed for configuration management.

Unlike imperative languages that require step-by-step instructions, Pkl utilizes a key-value format similar to JSON. This approach focuses on defining desired states rather than outlining specific actions, making it easier to understand and maintain configuration files, especially for those less familiar with complex scripting syntax.

In easier words, imagine you have many settings for different things, like your phone brightness, Wi-Fi password, or even the rules for a game. You might change these settings by clicking around in menus or writing code. But what if there was a simpler way, like writing a list of what you want and letting the computer figure out how to do it?

That’s what Pkl is trying to be. It’s a new programming language from Apple designed specifically for managing these kinds of settings. Instead of writing complicated instructions, you just tell Pkl what you want the outcome, and it takes care of the rest.

Pkl prioritizes data integrity and security through type checking, sandboxing, and least privilege. Its versatility allows for easy configuration of various systems and applications.

While Pkl has been internally used at Apple for several years, its release as an open-source project opens up opportunities for community contributions and broader adoption. Currently, basic editor plugins exist for VS Code and Neovim, providing syntax highlighting and code folding.

The release of Pkl seems to align with Apple’s growing commitment to open-source software. Recent contributions include the Swift programming language and the Foundation libraries, demonstrating their expanding presence in the open-source community.

More here.

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