ZPE - a look back
ZPE is now coming up for it's five year mark, but it's actually stemmed from something I started 8 years ago.
In this article, I am looking back at ZPE through the years, asking myself questions.
Why did I start ZPE?
BlackRabbit Script, the predecessor to ZPE, was written only for use on Windows computers which were originally my own development base. It was written in C#.NET. When I learned a bit more about parsers and making them efficient I decided to rewrite the BlackRabbit Script parser in C#.NET using the new knowledge I had obtained. It received a decent performance gain. In 2015 I decided to give it a go building it from scratch as part of a university project. I gained huge performance improvements.
What was the biggest hurdle for ZPE?
There were two very big hurdles when developing ZPE. The first of those was the mathematical parser. I knew that writing this in an efficient manner would be difficult, however, not so difficult that I would need to rewrite the mathematical and logic parsers three times to get them right.
The second hurdle was that I wrote BlackRabbit Script using my own class library that I began writing when I was 13 (in my second year of high school). It contained a bunch of different tools that formed the basis for BlackRabbit Script and made it really easy to develop functions for it. Unfortunately, that class library is not available in Java and since ZPE was rewritten in Java I had to redevelop a bunch of those features for the basis of ZPE. When I moved from BRS to ZPE, BRS had around 100 built-in methods. ZPE only got this as of about version 1.5.x.
What is my favourite feature of ZPE?
The web parser and ZEN. ZEN is a bunch of networking features for ZPE that make it well worthwhile. It also allows ZPE to act as a web server and it's a rather efficient web parser. ZPE powers my webserver at home as it allows me to easily create plugins for it to automate things around the house.
What is coming up for ZPE?
There's a bunch of new performance improvements planned for ZPE that have been in the works since about version 1.5 that are finally going to get the time needed. Version 1.8 will start with version 1.8.1 (Quinn) which will develop the foundation for these improvements to go through.
There will also be improvements to the MySQL library over the next few months.