Differences with the original version of AEL

  1. The $[...] expressions have been enhanced to include the ==, , and && operators. These operators are exactly equivalent to the =, , and & operators, respectively. Why? So the C, Java, C++ hackers feel at home here.
  2. It is more free-form. The newline character means very little, and is pulled out of the white-space only for line numbers in error messages.
  3. It generates more error messages - by this I mean that any difference between the input and the grammar are reported, by file, line number, and column.
  4. It checks the contents of $[ ] expressions (or what will end up being $[ ] expressions!) for syntax errors. It also does matching paren/bracket counts.
  5. It runs several semantic checks after the parsing is over, but before the compiling begins, see the list above.
  6. It handles #include "filepath" directives. - ALMOST anywhere, in fact. You could easily include a file in a context, in an extension, or at the root level. Files can be included in files that are included in files, down to 50 levels of hierarchy...
  7. Local Goto's inside Switch statements automatically have the extension of the location of the switch statement appended to them.
  8. A pretty printer function is available within pbx_ael.so.
  9. In the utils directory, two standalone programs are supplied for debugging AEL files. One is called "aelparse", and it reads in the /etc/asterisk/extensions.ael file, and shows the results of syntax and semantic checking on stdout, and also shows the results of compilation to stdout. The other is "aelparse1", which uses the original ael compiler to do the same work, reading in "/etc/asterisk/extensions.ael", using the original 'pbx_ael.so' instead.
  10. AEL supports the "jump" statement, and the "pattern" statement in switch constructs. Hopefully these will be documented in the AEL README.
  11. Added the "return" keyword, which will jump to the end of an extension/Macro.
  12. Added the ifTime (time rangedays of weekdays of monthmonths ) else construct, which executes much like an if () statement, but the decision is based on the current time, and the time spec provided in the ifTime. See the example above. (Note: all the other time-dependent Applications can be used via ifTime)
  13. Added the optional time spec to the contexts in the includes construct. See examples above.
  14. You don't have to wrap a single "true" statement in curly braces, as in the original AEL. An "else" is attached to the closest if. As usual, be careful about nested if statements! When in doubt, use curlies!
  15. Added the syntax [regexten] [hint(channel)] to precede an extension declaration. See examples above, under "Extension". The regexten keyword will cause the priorities in the extension to begin with 2 instead of 1. The hint keyword will cause its arguments to be inserted in the extension under the hint priority. They are both optional, of course, but the order is fixed at the moment- the regexten must come before the hint, if they are both present.
  16. Empty case/default/pattern statements will "fall thru" as expected. (0.6)
  17. A trailing label in an extension, will automatically have a NoOp() added, to make sure the label exists in the extension on Asterisk. (0.6)
  18. (0.9) the semicolon is no longer required after a closing brace! (i.e. "];" === "}". You can have them there if you like, but they are not necessary. Someday they may be rejected as a syntax error, maybe.
  19. (0.9) the // comments are not recognized and removed in the spots where expressions are gathered, nor in application call arguments. You may have to move a comment if you get errors in existing files.
  20. (0.10) the random statement has been added. Syntax: random ( expr ) lucky-statement [ else unlucky-statement ]. The probability of the lucky-statement getting executed is expr, which should evaluate to an integer between 0 and 100. If the lucky-statement isn't so lucky this time around, then the unlucky-statement gets executed, if it is present.