18 March 2014
We propose a programming model where effects are treated in a disciplined way, and where the potential side-effects of a function are apparent in its type signature. The type and effect of expressions can also be inferred automatically, and we describe a polymorphic type inference system based on Hindley-Milner style inference. A novel feature is that we support polymorphic effects through row-polymorphism using duplicate labels. Moreover, we show that our effects are not just syntactic labels but have a deep semantic connection to the program. For example, if an expression can be typed without an exn effect, then it will never throw an unhandled exception. Similar to Haskell's `runST` we show how we can safely encapsulate stateful operations. Through the state effect, we can also safely combine state with let-polymorphism without needing either imperative type variables or a syntactic value restriction. Finally, our system is implemented fully in a new language called Koka and has been used successfully on various small to medium-sized sample programs ranging from a Markdown processor to a tier-splitted chat application. You can try out Koka live at http://www.rise4fun.com/koka/tutorial.
|Published in||Mathematically Structured Functional Programming 2014|
Creative Commons Attribution
Daan Leijen. Koka: Programming with Row-Polymorphic Effect Types, 28 August 2013.