Jamie Balfour BSc

Welcome to my personal website!

Technology enthusiast

I am very interested in technology, particularly relating to computer science. I am most interested in web design and development.

My main hobby is programming. One of my most well known products from this is ZPE. I also am the sole creator of BalfBlog, BalfBar and BalfSlider.

A little bit about me

In 1997, when I was six years of age, I got my very first computer. I was always very interested in the ins and outs of it and dismantled it to see how it worked.

Years later, in 2016 I received my BSc (with honours) in Computer Science, obtaining a First class degree.

I'd like to welcome you to my website and hope you enjoy using it as much as I have enjoyed building it!

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Me
Jamie Balfour BSc
Full stack developer

Personal Blog

I've finally brought JSON support to ZPE. 

ZPE 1.5.0 will bring JSON support and will also focus on adding XML parsing tools to the mix. Currently version 1.5.0 uses the GSON library to add JSON parsing capabilities but I do intend to replace it with my own JSON parsing application at some point, since GSON brings the size of ZPE up to 500KB from just 300KB and I can't justify this. However, the change will only be a back end change when it comes and all applications will perform the same way if they are written to use the JSON functions currently provided. Consider GSON a placeholder.

Here's a small sample that takes the JSON from my own http://code.jamiebalfour.com/balfblog/info.json file that I use to share updates to BalfBlog:

ZenLang
$json_string = '[ {"name" : "BalfBlog", "version" : "2.2.1", "version_name" : "Klebb", "last_update" : "12-2016" } ]'
$map = json_to_map($json_string) $name = $map.get("name") print($name)

If we now look at what is output we should get the word BalfBlog. 

Tonight I am happy to announce the next version of ZPE, version 1.4.4. This is next stable release of ZPE that can be used for production and it brings a variety of new changes including:

  • The revamped LAMP parser introduced in the update versions of 1.4.3 (i.e. 1.4.3.10 and 1.4.3.40)
  • A better LAMP interpreter
  • The new Try-Catch statements
  • New increment and decrement operators (+= and -=)
  • Added string concatenation through the concatenate operator
  • Better error handling and better internal error messages
  • The hashing algorithms (SHA and MD5)
  • The associative array now uses the => instead of = to make an association
  • Objects and structures have merged into one
  • Added scopes (public, private and friendly) to variables
  • Made the interpreter more efficient with memory and less likely to crash

ZPE 1.4.4 which is the stable release of the beta updates of version 1.4.3 is the best version of ZPE to date and it is by far the best version I have released! I have finally finished the core of ZPE and no longer need to add any more constructs to the main language (although you can suggest some if you'd like). I cannot tell you what this feels like to finally have the language work like any other language out there but to have achieved all of it's aims.

The future of ZPE

The future of ZPE is going to focus on conversion between languages and the standard library. I will leave ZPE at version 1.4.4 for the foreseeable future since the version numbers tend to come from the fact that an internal feature has been added to the compiler or interpreter. Of course if bugs are found they will be fixed and ZPE updated. 

In the meantime, I will hopefully begin the construction of a formal language syntax for the language. This will take some time but it should be pretty good fun too. I will be focusing on improvements to the internal documentation of ZPE but I do intend to take a step back from the main development. 

My final remark

I really cannot believe that I have ticked all of the original boxes in ZPE as of today. Concatenation being added just today was the very last step in to making the language perfect and now it is (or at least in my eyes)! I hope you enjoy using the latest and greatest ZPE I have ever made! 

Help me to make it to 2,000 downloads by next month by spreading it! (it has been downloaded just over 1,000 times and the ZPE pages is my most popular page on my website after my personal blog).

07.08.2016
ZPE 1.4.4 has been released to my Download Center as a free download. Enjoy.

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