Picture of neon light reading 'Open'

Discover open research at Strathprints as part of International Open Access Week!

23-29 October 2017 is International Open Access Week. The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of Open Access research outputs, all produced by University of Strathclyde researchers.

Explore recent world leading Open Access research content this Open Access Week from across Strathclyde's many research active faculties: Engineering, Science, Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences and Strathclyde Business School.

Explore all Strathclyde Open Access research outputs...

Do Be Do Be Do

Lindley, Sam and McBride, Conor and McLaughlin, Craig (2017) Do Be Do Be Do. In: POPL'2017. ACM, New York, pp. 500-514. ISBN 9781450346603

[img]
Preview
Text (Lindley-etal-POPL-2017-do-be-do-be-do)
Lindley_etal_POPL_2017_do_be_do_be_do.pdf - Accepted Author Manuscript

Download (381kB) | Preview

Abstract

We explore the design and implementation of Frank, a strict functional programming language with a bidirectional effect type system designed from the ground up around a novel variant of Plotkin and Pretnar's effect handler abstraction. Effect handlers provide an abstraction for modular effectful programming: a handler acts as an interpreter for a collection of commands whose interfaces are statically tracked by the type system. However, Frank eliminates the need for an additional effect handling construct by generalising the basic mechanism of functional abstraction itself. A function is simply the special case of a Frank operator that interprets no commands. Moreover, Frank's operators can be multihandlers which simultaneously interpret commands from several sources at once, without disturbing the direct style of functional programming with values. Effect typing in Frank employs a novel form of effect polymorphism which avoid mentioning effect variables in source code. This is achieved by propagating an ambient ability inwards, rather than accumulating unions of potential effects outwards. We introduce Frank by example, and then give a formal account of the Frank type system and its semantics. We introduce Core Frank by elaborating Frank operators into functions, case expressions, and unary handlers, and then give a sound small-step operational semantics for Core Frank. Programming with effects and handlers is in its infancy. We contribute an exploration of future possibilities, particularly in combination with other forms of rich type system.