11 open source programming tools on the rise

Open source programming tool on the rise: Preprocessors

Many programmers like the distribution and reliability of language X but can't stand the syntax. Enter today’s proliferation of preprocessors. They let you program in language X while writing something different because whatever you write is converted to X before the compiler takes hold.

CoffeeScript seems like a precompiler for JavaScript, but it's a full compiler. The creator said, "Underneath all of those embarrassing braces and semicolons, JavaScript has always had a gorgeous object model at its heart. CoffeeScript is an attempt to expose the good parts of JavaScript in a simple way." It makes writing JavaScript more like writing Python because the space bar does the work of the curly brackets and a few of the other punctuation marks.

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