a classy little scripting language


Variables are named slots for storing values. You define a new variable in Wren using a var statement, like so:

var a = 1 + 2

This creates a new variable a in the current scope and initializes it with the result of the expression following the =. Once a variable has been defined, it can be accessed by name as you would expect.

var animal = "Slow Loris"
System.print(animal) //> Slow Loris

Scope #

Wren has true block scope: a variable exists from the point where it is defined until the end of the block where that definition appears.

  System.print(a) //! "a" doesn't exist yet.
  var a = 123
  System.print(a) //> 123
System.print(a) //! "a" doesn't exist anymore.

Variables defined at the top level of a script are top-level and are visible to the module system. All other variables are local. Declaring a variable in an inner scope with the same name as an outer one is called shadowing and is not an error (although it’s not something you likely intend to do much).

var a = "outer"
  var a = "inner"
  System.print(a) //> inner
System.print(a) //> outer

Declaring a variable with the same name in the same scope is an error.

var a = "hi"
var a = "again" //! "a" is already declared.

Assignment #

After a variable has been declared, you can assign to it using =

var a = 123
a = 234

An assignment walks up the scope stack to find where the named variable is declared. It’s an error to assign to a variable that isn’t defined. Wren doesn’t roll with implicit variable definition.

When used in a larger expression, an assignment expression evaluates to the assigned value.

var a = "before"
System.print(a = "after") //> after

If the left-hand side is some more complex expression than a bare variable name, then it isn’t an assignment. Instead, it’s calling a setter method.

Functions → ← Control Flow