Your first script

This tutorial will show you the basics on how to configure the engine, compile a script, and then execute it. The code in this article is not complete, it only contains the relevant parts to explain the basic structure for using the script library. For complete source codes see the samples that come with the SDK.

In this tutorial a couple of add-ons are used to make the code easier. You are not required to use these in your own application, but they will most likely let you get your project up and running faster. You'll want to take a look at the rest of the add-ons later on to see what else may be useful for you.

// Include the definitions of the script library and the add-ons we'll use.
// The project settings may need to be configured to let the compiler where
// to find these headers. Don't forget to add the source modules for the
// add-ons to your project as well so that they will be compiled into the
// application.
#include <angelscript.h>
#include <scriptstdstring/scriptstdstring.h>
#include <scriptbuilder/scriptbuilder.h>

Being an embedded scripting library there isn't much that AngelScript allows the scripts to do by themselves, so the first thing the application must do is to register the interface that the script will have to interact with the application. The interface may consist of functions, variables, and even complete classes.

Pay special attention to how the message callback is registered right after the engine is created. The message callback is used by the engine to give human readable error messages when something isn't working as it should, e.g. a registration is done incorrectly, or a script has an error that fails to compile. While you still need to verify the return codes, the message callback can give you valuable information that will let you figure out what is wrong without much effort.

// Create the script engine
// Set the message callback to receive information on errors in human readable form.
int r = engine->SetMessageCallback(asFUNCTION(MessageCallback), 0, asCALL_CDECL); assert( r >= 0 );
// AngelScript doesn't have a built-in string type, as there is no definite standard
// string type for C++ applications. Every developer is free to register it's own string type.
// The SDK do however provide a standard add-on for registering a string type, so it's not
// necessary to implement the registration yourself if you don't want to.
// Register the function that we want the scripts to call
r = engine->RegisterGlobalFunction("void print(const string &in)", asFUNCTION(print), asCALL_CDECL); assert( r >= 0 );

After the engine has been configured, the next step is to compile the scripts that should be executed.

The following is our script that will call the registered print function to write Hello world on the standard output stream. Let's say it's stored in the file

  void main()
    print("Hello world\n");

Here's the code for loading the script file and compiling it. The AngelScript engine itself doesn't have access to the filesystem so the loading the files has to be done by the application. Here we're going to use the script builder add-on, which does the loading of the script files, and some preprocessing, such as handling #include directives.

// The CScriptBuilder helper is an add-on that loads the file,
// performs a pre-processing pass if necessary, and then tells
// the engine to build a script module.
CScriptBuilder builder;
int r = builder.StartNewModule(engine, "MyModule");
if( r < 0 )
// If the code fails here it is usually because there
// is no more memory to allocate the module
printf("Unrecoverable error while starting a new module.\n");
r = builder.AddSectionFromFile("");
if( r < 0 )
// The builder wasn't able to load the file. Maybe the file
// has been removed, or the wrong name was given, or some
// preprocessing commands are incorrectly written.
printf("Please correct the errors in the script and try again.\n");
r = builder.BuildModule();
if( r < 0 )
// An error occurred. Instruct the script writer to fix the
// compilation errors that were listed in the output stream.
printf("Please correct the errors in the script and try again.\n");

The last step is to identify the function that is to be called, and set up a context for executing it.

// Find the function that is to be called.
asIScriptModule *mod = engine->GetModule("MyModule");
asIScriptFunction *func = mod->GetFunctionByDecl("void main()");
if( func == 0 )
// The function couldn't be found. Instruct the script writer
// to include the expected function in the script.
printf("The script must have the function 'void main()'. Please add it and try again.\n");
// Create our context, prepare it, and then execute
int r = ctx->Execute();
// The execution didn't complete as expected. Determine what happened.
// An exception occurred, let the script writer know what happened so it can be corrected.
printf("An exception '%s' occurred. Please correct the code and try again.\n", ctx->GetExceptionString());

The exception handling above is very basic. The application may also obtain information about line number, function, call stack, and even values of local and global variables if wanted.

Don't forget to clean up after you're done with the engine.

// Clean up

Helper functions

The print function is implemented as a very simple wrapper on the printf function.

// Print the script string to the standard output stream
void print(string &msg)
printf("%s", msg.c_str());
See Also
Message callback, Script builder, string object, Samples