[Pl-seminar] Reminder: Seminar TOMORROW: Multi-language programming system: a linear experiment

Daniel Patterson dbp at ccs.neu.edu
Thu May 4 10:47:51 EDT 2017

Reminder that this is tomorrow!

Daniel Patterson <dbp at ccs.neu.edu> writes:
> NUPRL Seminar presents
> 12:00-1:30PM
> May 5, 2017
> Room 366 WVH (http://www.ccs.neu.edu/home/wand/directions.html)
> Multi-language programming system: a linear experiment
> Abstract:
> Programming language research keeps inventing more powerful dynamic and
> static features for programming language. Ideally, thorough language
> design should be able to propose a single, unified, powerful yet simple
> view of them as orthogonal aspects of a single programming language that
> would remain usable by everyone. In practice, it always takes much more
> time and effort to find the simple/orthogonal presentation than to come
> up with the desirable features, and we become emotionally attached to
> programming language monoliths (C++, Scala, GHC Haskell, OCaml, Common
> Lisp...) that suffer from feature creep. An alternative is to design
> programming systems as multi-language environment instead. This point of
> view makes it easier to detect flaws in a proposed programming system
> design: there is no clear objective definition of what "orthogonal
> features" really mean, but we have clear ideas of how multi-language
> systems should work. The Racket Manifesto says: "Each language and
> component must be able to protect its specific invariants".
> In this work we give a formal specification, in terms of full
> abstraction, for what it means for a new language added to the system to
> not introduce "abstraction leaks" in the other languages, and discuss
> scenarios where this translates in (informal) usability properties:
> having a nice teachable language subset, or gracefully introducing an
> advanced language for experts. We present a multi-language design that
> exhibits this formal property by adding a language L with linear types
> and linear state to a typical ML-style programming language U. L allows
> to write programs with resource usage guarantees (space consumption,
> typestate-style safety guarantees) that were not possible in U, without
> introducing abstraction leaks. We will demonstrate several useful
> examples, some of them that crucially rely on the fine-grained use of
> language boundaries, at a subterm level rather than whole-module level.
> NOTE: This announcement does not include the author, as this work is
> currently under submission.
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