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Designing a Language for Library Developers

47 replies on 4 pages. Most recent reply: Oct 17, 2005 4:28 PM by Max Lybbert

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Christopher Diggins

Posts: 1215
Nickname: cdiggins
Registered: Feb, 2004

Re: Designing a Language for Library Developers Posted: Oct 16, 2005 5:34 PM
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> is there another way to verify contracts?
> Is formal proof a practical alternative?

Only on occasion. In many cases contracts can either not be formally proven (e.g. otherwise you could solve the halting problem), or it is simply too hard. More on formal limits of contracts can be found here at Artima http://www.artima.com/intv/contracts3.html

> BTW: I was wondering why you want to include type
> inference in Heron.

I'm not planning on supporting type-inference in Heron (at least not in the ML sense).

Gregor Zeitlinger

Posts: 108
Nickname: gregor
Registered: Aug, 2005

Re: Designing a Language for Library Developers Posted: Oct 17, 2005 2:43 PM
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> I'm not planning on supporting type-inference in Heron (at
> least not in the ML sense).
Thanks for clearing that up. While I'm at it: I was wondering why you do not want to use GC for Heron (I hope I'm right on that one).
1) Because the point of garbadge collection is indeterministic (at least in current implementations)
2) Because of a possible performance penalty.
I'm explicitly saying "possible" because a GC may actually be a performance benefit in some cases. Do you have evidence that shows the impact of GC - possibly even specifically for libraries?

Max Lybbert

Posts: 314
Nickname: mlybbert
Registered: Apr, 2005

Re: Garbage Collection Posted: Oct 17, 2005 4:28 PM
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/*I was wondering why you do not want to use GC for Heron (I hope I'm right on that one).
*/

I'll hop in on this, because this was a recent topic.

First, as I understand it, Heron won't *prohibit* garbage collection. Just like C++ permits GC implementations, it will be possible for somebody to implement Heron with GC.

But the reference implementation won't come with GC. Instead, Heron will come with various pointer classes that offer different memory management behavior. These pointers will be useful for resources other than memory as well. Most garbage collection doesn't give you that option.

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