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Adding New Structures to Code Thesaurus

If a structure (like string manipulation, arrays, functions, etc.) doesn't exist for any language yet, make sure the structure file exists in the web/thesauruses/_meta directory first. See the Add a Existing Structure on how to copy over a concept if it does.

If it needs to be added, then you will need to follow these steps.

First, open up web/thesauruses/meta_info.json. In the second half of the file, there's a group called structures. Add your concept to that list. Make sure this concept is written to be inclusive for any language. (For example, things could be called "functions" but in other languages are "methods" or "subroutines" depending on how they work.) Then give the file a name that ends in JSON. You will create this file in the next step.

Within the web/thesauruses/_meta directory, create the new file you just named in the meta_data.json file. The file will need to have this basic structure:

  "meta": {
    "structure": "structure_id",
    "structure_name": "Structure Name"
  "categories": {
    "Category Name": {
      "concept_1": "Concept 1 Name",
      "concept_2": "Concept 2 Name",
      "concept_n": "Concept n Name"
    "Another Category Name": {
      "concept_m": "Concept m Name",
      "concept_z": "Concept z Name"

Within this file you will need to edit the following items to make the file work:

  • Replace "structure_id" by the files name without the ".json" file ending.
  • Replace "Structure Name" with a friendly name for the structure, the same you gave it in meta_info.json
  • Edit the "Category Name", ... fields to reflect the structure you are adding and add as many categories as you can think of that subdivide the structure you're adding in any hypothetical programming language.
  • Within every "category" block add as many concepts as you can think of to show examples of how that concept is implemented in any hypothetical programming language.

Don't worry if you can't think about all concepts for all languages because as more languages are added people will add to this file, too.

If you are adding a concept to all of Code Thesaurus, please make a pull request for this separately from a language's implementation of this. This is to make sure the file can be reviewed first before languages try to implement the changes.

Last update: 2023-10-30