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The Disciplined Disciple Compiler (DDC)

Disciple is a dialect of Haskell that uses strict evaluation as the default and supports destructive update of arbitrary data structures. Disciple includes region, effect and closure typing, and this extra information provides a handle on the operational behaviour of code that isn't available in other languages. Programs can be written in either a pure/functional or effectful/imperative style, and one of our goals is to provide both styles coherently in the same language. The two styles can be mixed safely, for example: when using laziness the type system guarantees that computations with visible side effects are not suspended. Many Haskell programs are also Disciple programs, or will run with minor changes. Our target applications are the ones that you always find yourself writing C programs for, because existing functional languages are too slow, use too much memory, or don't let you update the data that you need to.

DDC is still in the "research prototype" stage, meaning that it will compile programs if you are nice to it, but expect compiler panics and missing features. You'll get panics due to ungraceful handling of errors in the source code, but valid programs should compile ok. Here are some working examples, along with their Disciple source code:

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State of Play

This section records what the DDC developers are actively working on. If you're hacking on something DDC related then by all means add yourself here. Records are dropped off if they're older than about a month.

Ben Lippmeier (benl23) -- updated 18th July 2011

  • I'm still working on mechanising the proofs of the DDC core language in Coq.
  • I've finished the proofs for STLC with algebraic data types, and STLC with mutable references. Next is to combine these with my existing proof of SystemF2, which will yield the basic computational structure of DDC core. After that it'll be time to add the region and effect typing.
  • I've also mostly finished work on war3, the new test framework driver. This is a rewrite of the previous version, now using the buildbox library, and supporting parallel testing without build races between different "ways".

Erik de Castro Lopo (erikde/m3ga) -- updated 17th Jul 2011

  • The LLVM backend is basically done and is already showing improved runtime performance compared with the C backend.
  • Make sure the LLVM backend works with llvm 2.8 and 2.9 (have been using 2.7 until now).
  • Make sure the LLVM backend works for linux-powerpc32, darwin-x86 and darwin-x86_64.
  • Plan to examine all the currently open bugs to see if any can be easily fixed and closed.
  • Improvements to DDC's library.
  • Working on bugs #220.

Language

Installation

Fully supported: OSX/x86, Linux/x86, Linux/x86_64, Linux/PPC, FreeBSD/x86
Partially supported: Cygwin/x86?

Development

How you can help

  • Download the compiler, write programs, and file bug reports!
  • Write more tests. Cute graphical demos are especially fun.
  • Fix bugs! The ones on the newbie list should be easy to get started on, otherwise we're pushing for the 0.1.3 release
  • 'port across GHC base libraries like Data.Either and Data.Map.

How to get help



Further Reading

Related Work

Another bibliography by Jianzhou Zhao

Projects

  • Eff. Bauer, Pretnar. (active)
  • BitC. A functional language with first class mutability. Shapiro, Sridhar, Doerrie. (active)
  • Timber A real-time Haskell like language. Nordlander et al. (active)
  • Cyclone A type safe dialect of C using region typing. Grossman, Hicks, Jim, Morrisett, Swamy, Wang et al. (active)
  • MLKit A ML compiler using region typing. Elsman, Hallenberg, Varming, Tofte, Birkedal et al. (active)
  • FX The original effect typing system. Gifford, Jouvelot et al. (inactive)

Recent Papers

If you know of other recent work on effects, region typing, controlling mutability, or capability calculi then please add it here. We are particularly interested in systems that can express the noninterference of concurrent threads in their type systems, while not requiring all data to be constant (as in Haskell), and not adding intermediate messaging protocols (as in Erlang or with STM).

Key Papers