We are happy to announce that AutoHotkey v2 is now the official primary version, providing many improvements over prior versions. Going forward, v2 will be actively developed and v1 will be considered deprecated. It is recommended that users begin to transition to v2 for new scripts. However, v1 scripts will continue to work as long as v1 is installed, even if v2 is also installed. There are several helpful components and features of the v2 installation that allow both versions to coexist and work seamlessly. See these instructions for installing v2 alongside v1.
The AHK community will be here to help with the transition and answer questions regarding any version with which you might need assistance. The summary below outlines some key points regarding the transition, including changes to the forum. Any other questions you might have regarding v1 and v2 are most likely covered in this in-depth piece by Lexikos, AHK's primary developer. Those who have already adopted v2 believe that you will find the new version to be a significant upgrade, and it will help solidify AHK as the most powerful and easy-to-use scripting language available.
Why is the transition to v2 necessary?
- Past updates of AHK were constrained to be backward compatible with prior versions, which limited the enhancements that could be made. By removing this constraint, v2 incorporates many significant improvements over v1, including the elimination of the quirks that made many aspects of v1 confusing for many, especially beginning users. This break from the ties to the v1 syntax and structures are what allow AHK to continue to progress as a modern and easy-to-use scripting language.
- The focus of the developers, especially the primary developer Lexikos, will be on this latest version, as it represents the present and future of the AHK language. It is not feasible to maintain development of two separate code bases. The forum will likewise focus and organize around the primary version while still including areas supporting v1.
Advantages and key features of v2
- Elimination of the dual syntax in v1. The presence of both legacy (command) syntax and expressions in v1 causes much frustration for those learning the language. AHK v2 is consistent in its use of expressions, which leaves only one syntax to be learned and eliminates the need to remember how and when to use each.
- More thorough error-detection and reporting. This results in easier troubleshooting and more reliable code.
- Launcher app. The v2 installation includes the Launcher app that helps manage both the transition from v1 to v2 as well as ongoing use of both, if desired. The Launcher will run the appropriate version of AHK based on its attempt at automatic detection and your settings.
- Dash app. The Dash app is a new graphical user interface for AHK that can be used as a starting point to create new scripts, compile scripts, view the Help files (v2 or v1), run the Window Spy tool, configure launch settings, and specify the default editor for AHK script files.
- Over several weeks after the time of this announcement, the forum will be changed to reflect the focus on v2 as the primary version.
- The main forum sections will be for v2-related topics. Sub-forums specifically designated for v1 and older versions will be created for topics regarding those versions. Existing threads from the old non-v2 forums will be moved to those sub-forums.
- The syntax highlighting in AHK code boxes will be changed to use v2 syntax rules.
- The official release of v2 does not mean that v1 is being removed from the site. As always, the past versions are available to be downloaded and designated v1 forum areas will be available, includng "Ask for Help" and "Scripts and Functions."
- Your current v1 scripts will continue to work even with v2 installed, as described above regarding the Launcher app.
- No new features will be implemented in v1, although those contributing code changes via "pull requests" may be evaluated and implemented, but on a lower priority.
- Anyone wishing to fork a version of v1 to continue its development is welcome to do so, as all versions of AHK continue to be open source.