Apple has recently unveiled Pkl, an innovative programming language designed specifically for crafting configurations. In the realm of configuration, conventional static languages like JSON, YAML, and property lists often fall short as complexities increase. These languages lack expressiveness, leading to redundant code and making configuration errors more prone due to a lack of validation.
The Pitfalls of Existing Configurations
To address these issues, developers sometimes resort to supplementary tools, adding special logic to enhance these formats. However, this approach can result in configurations resembling programming languages, making them challenging to comprehend and write.
Striking the Right Balance with Pkl
Pkl seeks to find the perfect equilibrium between static and general-purpose programming languages for optimal configuration management. By incorporating familiar language features like classes, functions, conditions, and loops, Pkl allows developers to create declarative, easily readable, and writable code. The language facilitates the creation of abstraction layers, code sharing through packages, and solving a myriad of configuration problems, adds NIX Solutions.
Pkl’s Development Goals and Features
Pkl was developed with three primary goals in mind:
- Security and Validation: Detect validation errors before deployment to ensure robust security.
- Scalability: Address simple to complex use cases seamlessly.
- Enhanced Developer Experience: Provide a writing experience comparable to statically typed languages, featuring best-in-class IDE integrations.
Key Features of Pkl:
- Generate static configuration formats: JSON, YAML, property lists, and more.
- Integrated application configuration: Embed Pkl for runtime configuration and code generation in Java, Kotlin, Swift, and Go.
- Exceptional IDE Integration: Pkl offers a rich toolkit compatible with popular IDEs, ensuring a smooth writing experience.
- Error Prevention: Robust type checking and validation enable catching configuration errors before deployment.