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deploy/docs/js Added CONTRIBUTING; fixed newline tests Jan 28, 2019
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LICENSE Added Satriani to Rockstar main repo Jan 27, 2019 Tiny tweak to trigger CI build. Feb 4, 2019
package.json Add support for `let <variable> be <expression>` Mar 24, 2019
rockstar.js Fixed flow control bug in interpreter Jan 27, 2019
satriani.interpreter.js Support for list expressions Mar 24, 2019
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satriani.parser.js Support for list expressions Mar 24, 2019
yarn.lock Added Satriani to Rockstar main repo Jan 27, 2019


Satriani is a JavaScript interpreter for the Rockstar programming language. Satriani has been created to act as a reference implementation for managing changes to the Rockstar language specification.


To run Satriani using nodeJS from the command line:

git clone 
cd rockstar/satriani
node rockstar <program>.rock

To run the test suite:

git clone 
cd rockstar/satriani
yarn test

To run Satriani from your own JavaScript code:

const satriani = require('./satriani.js');

// Required to support reading from stdin
const readlineSync = require('readline-sync');

let rockstar = new satriani.Interpreter();
let program = "Shout Hello World!\nGive back 1\n";
let ast = rockstar.parse(program);

// Draw the abstract syntax tree (AST) to the console as a JSON object
console.log(JSON.stringify(ast, null, 2))

let output = console.log
let input = readlineSync.question
let result =, input, output)

To run Satriani in a browser, use browserify to bundle it:

git clone 
cd rockstar/satriani
yarn browserify

This will create a single JS file, deploy/docs/js/satriani.js, containing the Satriani parser and interpreter, which you can use in web pages:

<!DOCTYPE html>

<script type="text/javascript" src="js/satriani.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript">
    let source = 'Shout "Hello World"';
    let output = console.log;
    let input = () => window.prompt('Rockstar:');
    let rockstar = new Satriani.Interpreter(output);
    let result =, input, output);

How it works

Satriani uses pegjs, a parser generator for JavaScript. The language grammar is defined in rockstar.peg.

We use the pegjs command line to generate rockstar.parser.js, which is the parser itself:

$ pegjs -o rockstar.parser.js rockstar.peg

This is also defined as a yarn build task, so you can build the parser using:

$ yarn run pegjs

rockstar.parser.js exports a function parse(input, options), where input is a string containing the source code of your Rockstar program and options is the optional pegjs parser options.

parse will return an abstract syntax tree (AST) containing your program. The AST is a JSON object representing your program as a tree of operations.

rockstar.interpreter.js is a runtime interpreter that can take the AST created by the parser and evaluate it. It's pluggable so you can override the I/O mechanisms.

The test suite is runnable using Mocha - each 'test' is defined as a .rock source file and an .rock.out output file, so the test suite is completely platform-agnostic.


I've basically had to teach myself how to build compilers again to create this - it's been a long, long time since University... :)

HUGE thanks to Wolfgang Faust for - I've been using his grammar as a reference throughout and have reused bits of it directly, and it's been invaluable.

Mihai Bazon's fantastic series of articles on building recursive descent compilers in JavaScript has also been really useful:

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