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authorOri Bernstein <ori@eigenstate.org>2017-01-14 21:41:13 -0800
committerOri Bernstein <ori@eigenstate.org>2017-01-14 21:41:13 -0800
commitfefdce5c957865ebcf2e30c99b5ff1b6e09e0efb (patch)
treedab3de7f046cd185036ab3d5dc9f0d7b365f2067 /doc
parent88608e748f11edcaf898275ce5d7b54cba7be9de (diff)
downloadmc-fefdce5c957865ebcf2e30c99b5ff1b6e09e0efb.tar.gz
Start updating the language docs.
Still out of date and incomplete, but we're moving on it again.
Diffstat (limited to 'doc')
-rw-r--r--doc/lang.txt432
1 files changed, 246 insertions, 186 deletions
diff --git a/doc/lang.txt b/doc/lang.txt
index 7bcc489..8a0c904 100644
--- a/doc/lang.txt
+++ b/doc/lang.txt
@@ -6,89 +6,113 @@
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1. ABOUT
- 2. LEXICAL CONVENTIONS
- 3. SYNTAX
- 3.1. Declarations
- 3.2. Literal Values
- 3.3. Control Constructs and Blocks
- 3.4. Expressions
- 3.5. Data Types
- 3.6. Type Inference
- 3.7. Generics
- 3.8. Traits
- 3.9. Packages and Uses
- 4. TOOLCHAIN
- 5. EXAMPLES
- 6. STYLE GUIDE
- 7. STANDARD LIBRARY
- 8. GRAMMAR
- 9. FUTURE DIRECTIONS
+ 2. NOTATION
+ 2.1. Grammar
+ 3. LEXICAL CONVENTIONS
+ 3.1. Summary
+ 4. SYNTAX
+ 4.1. Declarations
+ 4.2. Literal Values
+ 4.3. Control Constructs and Blocks
+ 4.4. Expressions
+ 4.5. Data Types
+ 4.6. Type Inference
+ 4.7. Generics
+ 4.8. Traits
+ 4.9. Packages and Uses
+ 5. TOOLCHAIN
+ 6. EXAMPLES
+ 7. STYLE GUIDE
+ 8. STANDARD LIBRARY
+ 9. FULL GRAMMAR
+ 10. FUTURE DIRECTIONS
1. ABOUT:
Myrddin is designed to be a simple, low-level programming
language. It is designed to provide the programmer with
predictable behavior and a transparent compilation model,
- while at the same time providing the benefits of strong
- type checking, generics, type inference, and similar.
- Myrddin is not a language designed to explore the forefront
- of type theory or compiler technology. It is not a language
- that is focused on guaranteeing perfect safety. Its focus
- is on being a practical, small, fairly well defined, and
- easy to understand language for work that needs to be close
- to the hardware.
+ while at the same time providing the benefits of strong type
+ checking, generics, type inference, and similar. Myrddin is
+ not a language designed to explore the forefront of type
+ theory or compiler technology. It is not a language that is
+ focused on guaranteeing perfect safety. Its focus is on being
+ a practical, small, fairly well defined, and easy to
+ understand language for work that needs to be close to the
+ hardware.
- Myrddin is a computer language influenced strongly by C
- and ML, with ideas from Rust, Go, C++, and numerous other
- sources and resources.
+ Myrddin is a computer language influenced strongly by C and
+ ML, with ideas from too many other places to name.
-2. LEXICAL CONVENTIONS:
+2. NOTATION:
- The language is composed of several classes of tokens. There
- are comments, identifiers, keywords, punctuation, and whitespace.
+ 2.1. Grammar:
- Comments begin with "/*" and end with "*/". They may nest.
+ Syntax is defined using an informal variant of EBNF.
- /* this is a comment /* with another inside */ */
+ token: /regex/ | "quoted"
+ prod: prodname ":" [ expr ]
+ expr: alt ( "|" alt )*
+ alt: term term*
+ term: prodname | token | group | opt | rep
+ group: "(" expr ")" .
+ opt: "[" expr "]" .
+ rep: zerorep | onerep
+ zerorep: expr "*"
+ onerep: expr "+"
- Identifiers begin with any alphabetic character or underscore,
- and continue with any number of alphanumeric characters or
- underscores. Currently the compiler places a limit of 1024
- bytes on the length of the identifier.
+3. LEXICAL CONVENTIONS:
- some_id_234__
+ 3.1. Summary:
- Keywords are a special class of identifier that is reserved
- by the language and given a special meaning. The set of
- keywords in Myrddin are as follows:
+ The language is composed of several classes of tokens. There are
+ comments, identifiers, keywords, punctuation, and whitespace.
- castto match
- const pkg
- default protect
- elif sizeof
- else struct
- export trait
- extern true
- false type
- for union
- generic use
- goto var
- if while
+ Comments begin with "/*" and end with "*/". They may nest.
+ /* this is a comment /* with another inside */ */
- Literals are a direct representation of a data object within the source of
- the program. There are several literals implemented within the language.
- These are fully described in section 3.2 of this manual.
+ Identifiers begin with any alphabetic character or underscore, and
+ continue with alphanumeric characters or underscores. Currently the
+ compiler places a limit of 1024 bytes on the length of the identifier.
- In the compiler, single semicolons (';') and newline (\x10)
- characters are treated identically, and are therefore interchangeable.
- They will both be referred to "endline"s throughout this manual.
+ some_id_234__
+ Keywords are a special class of identifier that is reserved by the
+ language and given a special meaning. The full set of keywords are
+ listed below. Their meanings will be covered later in this reference
+ manual.
-3. SYNTAX OVERVIEW:
+ $noret _ break
+ castto const continue
+ elif else extern
+ false for generic
+ goto if impl
+ in match pkg
+ pkglocal sizeof struct
+ trait true type
+ union use var
+ void while
- 3.1. Declarations:
+ Literals are a direct representation of a data object within the
+ source of the program. There are several literals implemented within
+ the language. These are fully described in section 3.2 of this
+ manual.
+
+ Single semicolons (';') and newline (\n) characters are synonymous and
+ interchangable. They both are used to mark the end of logical lines,
+ and will be uniformly referred to as line terminators.
+
+4. SYNTAX OVERVIEW:
+
+ 4.1. Declarations:
+
+ decl: attrs ("var" | "const" | "generic") decllist
+ attrs: ("exern" | "pkglocal" | "$noret")+
+ decllist: declbody ("," declbody)*
+ declbody: declcore ["=" expr]
+ declcore: name [":" type
A declaration consists of a declaration class (i.e., one
of 'const', 'var', or 'generic'), followed by a declaration
@@ -101,8 +125,10 @@ TABLE OF CONTENTS:
const: Declares a constant value, which may not be
modified at run time. Constants must have
initializers defined.
+
var: Declares a variable value. This value may be
assigned to, copied from, and modified.
+
generic: Declares a specializable value. This value
has the same restrictions as a const, but
taking its address is not defined. The type
@@ -110,11 +136,20 @@ TABLE OF CONTENTS:
named in the declaration in order for their
substitution to be allowed.
- In addition, there is one modifier allowed on declarations:
- 'extern'. Extern declarations are used to declare symbols from
- another module which cannot be provided via the 'use' mechanism.
- Typical uses would be to expose a function written in assembly. They
- can also be used as a workaround for external dependencies.
+ In addition, declarations may accept a number of modifiers which
+ change the attributes of the declarations:
+
+ extern: Declares a variable as having external linkage.
+ Assigning a definition to this variable within the
+ file that contains the extern definition is an error.
+
+ pkglocal: Declares a variable which is local to the package.
+ This variable may be used from other files that
+ declare the same `pkg` namespace, but referring to
+ it from outside the namespace is an error.
+
+ $noret: Declares the function to which this is applied as
+ a non-returning function.
Examples:
@@ -149,112 +184,137 @@ TABLE OF CONTENTS:
-> a + b + c
}
- 3.2. Literal Values
-
- Integers literals are a sequence of digits, beginning with a
- digit and possibly separated by underscores. They are of a
- generic type, and can be used where any numeric type is
- expected. They may be prefixed with "0x" to indicate that the
- following number is a hexadecimal value, or 0b to indicate a
- binary value. Decimal values are not prefixed, and octal values
- are not supported.
-
- eg: 0x123_fff, 0b1111, 1234
-
- Floating-point literals are also a sequence of digits beginning with
- a digit and possibly separated by underscores. They are also of a
- generic type, and may be used whenever a floating-point type is
- expected. Floating point literals are always in decimal, and
- as of this writing, exponential notation is not supported[2]
-
- eg: 123.456
-
- String literals represent a compact method of representing a byte
- array. Any byte values are allowed in a string literal, and will be
- spit out again by the compiler unmodified, with the exception of
- escape sequences.
-
- There are a number of escape sequences supported for both character
- and string literals:
- \n newline
- \r carriage return
- \t tab
- \b backspace
- \" double quote
- \' single quote
- \v vertical tab
- \\ single slash
- \0 nul character
- \xDD single byte value, where DD are two hex digits.
-
- String literals begin with a ", and continue to the next
- unescaped ".
-
- eg: "foo\"bar"
-
- Multiple consecutive string literals are implicitly merged to create
- a single combined string literal. To allow a string literal to span
- across multiple lines, the new line characters must be escaped.
-
- eg: "foo" \
- "bar"
-
- Character literals represent a single codepoint in the character
- set. A character starts with a single quote, contains a single
- codepoint worth of text, encoded either as an escape sequence
- or in the input character set for the compiler (generally UTF8).
- They share the same set of escape sequences as string literals.
-
- eg: 'א', '\n', '\u{1234}'
-
- Boolean literals are either the keyword "true" or the keyword
- "false".
-
- eg: true, false
-
- Function literals describe a function. They begin with a '{',
- followed by a newline-terminated argument list, followed by a
- body and closing '}'. They will be described in more detail
- later in this manual.
-
- eg: {a : int, b
- -> a + b
- }
+ 4.2. Literal Values
+
+ 4.2.1. Atomic Literals:
+
+ literal: strlit | chrlit | floatlit |
+ boollit | voidlit | intlit |
+ funclit | seqlit | tuplit
+
+ strlit: \"(char|escape)*\"
+ chrlit: \'(char|escape)\'
+ intlit: "0x" digits | "0o" digits | "0b" digits | digits
+ floatlit: digit+"."digit+["e" digit+]
+ boollit: "true"|"false"
+ voidlit: "void"
+
+ Integers literals are a sequence of digits, beginning with a digit and
+ possibly separated by underscores. They are of a generic type, and can
+ be used where any numeric type is expected. They may be prefixed with
+ "0x" to indicate that the following number is a hexadecimal value, 0o
+ to indicate an octal value, or 0b to indicate a binary value. Decimal
+ values are not prefixed.
+
+ eg: 0x123_fff, 0b1111, 0o777, 1234
+
+ Floating-point literals are also a sequence of digits beginning with a
+ digit and possibly separated by underscores. They are also of a
+ generic type, and may be used whenever a floating-point type is
+ expected. Floating point literals are always in decimal, but may
+ have an exponent attached to them.
+
+ eg: 123.456, 10.0e7, 1_000.
+
+ String literals represent a compact method of representing a byte
+ array. Any byte values are allowed in a string literal, and will be
+ spit out again by the compiler unmodified, with the exception of
+ escape sequences.
+
+ There are a number of escape sequences supported for both character
+ and string literals:
+ \n newline
+ \r carriage return
+ \t tab
+ \b backspace
+ \" double quote
+ \' single quote
+ \v vertical tab
+ \\ single slash
+ \0 nul character
+ \xDD single byte value, where DD are two hex digits.
+ \u{xxx} unicode escape, emitted as utf8.
+
+ String literals begin with a ", and continue to the next
+ unescaped ".
- Sequence literals describe either an array or a structure
- literal. They begin with a '[', followed by an initializer
- sequence and closing ']'. For array literals, the initializer
- sequence is either an indexed initializer sequence[4], or an
- unindexed initializer sequence. For struct literals, the
- initializer sequence is always a named initializer sequence.
+ eg: "foo\"bar"
- An unindexed initializer sequence is simply a comma separated
- list of values. An indexed initializer sequence contains a
- '#number=value' comma separated sequence, which indicates the
- index of the array into which the value is inserted. A named
- initializer sequence contains a comma separated list of
- '.name=value' pairs.
+ Multiple consecutive string literals are implicitly merged to create
+ a single combined string literal. To allow a string literal to span
+ across multiple lines, the new line characters must be escaped.
+
+ eg: "foo" \
+ "bar"
- eg: [1,2,3], [#2=3, #1=2, #0=1], [.a = 42, .b="str"]
+ Character literals represent a single codepoint in the character
+ set. A character starts with a single quote, contains a single
+ codepoint worth of text, encoded either as an escape sequence
+ or in the input character set for the compiler (generally UTF8).
+ They share the same set of escape sequences as string literals.
- A tuple literal is a parentheses separated list of values.
- A single element tuple contains a trailing comma.
+ eg: 'א', '\n', '\u{1234}'
- eg: (1,), (1,'b',"three")
+ Boolean literals are either the keyword "true" or the keyword
+ "false".
- Finally, while strictly not a literal, it's not a control
- flow construct either. Labels are identifiers preceded by
- colons.
+ eg: true, false
- eg: :my_label
+ 4.2.2. Sequence and Tuple Literals:
+
+ seqlit: "[" structelts | arrayelts "]"
+ structelts:
+ arrayelts:
- They can be used as targets for gotos, as follows:
+ tuplit: "(" tuplelts ")"
+ tupelts: expr
- goto my_label
+ 4.2.3. Function Literals
- the ':' is not part of the label name.
+ Function literals describe a function. They begin with a '{',
+ followed by a newline-terminated argument list, followed by a
+ body and closing '}'. They will be described in more detail
+ later in this manual.
- 3.3. Control Constructs and Blocks:
+ eg: {a : int, b
+ -> a + b
+ }
+
+ Sequence literals describe either an array or a structure
+ literal. They begin with a '[', followed by an initializer
+ sequence and closing ']'. For array literals, the initializer
+ sequence is either an indexed initializer sequence[4], or an
+ unindexed initializer sequence. For struct literals, the
+ initializer sequence is always a named initializer sequence.
+
+ An unindexed initializer sequence is simply a comma separated
+ list of values. An indexed initializer sequence contains a
+ '#number=value' comma separated sequence, which indicates the
+ index of the array into which the value is inserted. A named
+ initializer sequence contains a comma separated list of
+ '.name=value' pairs.
+
+ eg: [1,2,3], [#2=3, #1=2, #0=1], [.a = 42, .b="str"]
+
+ A tuple literal is a parentheses separated list of values.
+ A single element tuple contains a trailing comma.
+
+ eg: (1,), (1,'b',"three")
+
+ Finally, while strictly not a literal, it's not a control
+ flow construct either. Labels are identifiers preceded by
+ colons.
+
+ eg: :my_label
+
+ They can be used as targets for gotos, as follows:
+
+ goto my_label
+
+ the ':' is not part of the label name.
+
+
+ 4.3. Control Constructs and Blocks:
if for
while match
@@ -366,7 +426,7 @@ TABLE OF CONTENTS:
;;
- 3.4. Expressions:
+ 4.4. Expressions:
Myrddin expressions are relatively similar to expressions in C. The
operators are listed below in order of precedence, and a short
@@ -462,7 +522,7 @@ TABLE OF CONTENTS:
on overflow. Right shift expressions fill with the sign bit on
signed types, and fill with zeros on unsigned types.
- 3.5. Data Types:
+ 4.5. Data Types:
The language defines a number of built in primitive types. These
are not keywords, and in fact live in a separate namespace from
@@ -473,7 +533,7 @@ TABLE OF CONTENTS:
must be explicitly cast if you want to convert, and the casts must
be of compatible types, as will be described later.
- 3.5.1. Primitive types:
+ 4.5.1. Primitive types:
void
bool char
@@ -491,6 +551,10 @@ TABLE OF CONTENTS:
This allows generics to not have to somehow work around void
being a toxic type. The void value is named `void`.
+ It is interesting to note that these types are not keywords,
+ but are instead merely predefined identifiers in the type
+ namespace.
+
bool is a type that can only hold true and false. It can be
assigned, tested for equality, and used in the various boolean
operators.
@@ -509,7 +573,7 @@ TABLE OF CONTENTS:
var y : float32 declare y as a 32 bit float
- 3.5.2. Composite types:
+ 4.5.2. Composite types:
pointer
slice array
@@ -533,7 +597,7 @@ TABLE OF CONTENTS:
foo[123] type: array of 123 foo
foo[,] type: slice of foo
- 3.5.3. Aggregate types:
+ 4.5.3. Aggregate types:
tuple struct
union
@@ -567,7 +631,7 @@ TABLE OF CONTENTS:
;;
- 3.5.4. Magic types:
+ 4.5.4. Magic types:
tyvar typaram
tyname
@@ -597,7 +661,7 @@ TABLE OF CONTENTS:
named '@foo'.
- 3.6. Type Inference:
+ 4.6. Type Inference:
The myrddin type system is a system similar to the Hindley Milner
system, however, types are not implicitly generalized. Instead, type
@@ -612,7 +676,7 @@ TABLE OF CONTENTS:
It begins by initializing all leaf nodes with the most specific
known type for them as follows:
- 3.6.1 Types for leaf nodes:
+ 4.6.1 Types for leaf nodes:
Variable Type
----------------------
@@ -682,7 +746,7 @@ TABLE OF CONTENTS:
< <= > >=
- 3.7. Packages and Uses:
+ 4.7. Packages and Uses:
pkg use
@@ -724,7 +788,7 @@ TABLE OF CONTENTS:
them in the body of the code for readability. Scanning the export
list is desirable from a readability perspective.
-4. TOOLCHAIN:
+5. TOOLCHAIN:
The toolchain used is inspired by the Plan 9 toolchain in name. There
is currently one compiler for x64, called '6m'. This compiler outputs
@@ -734,9 +798,9 @@ TABLE OF CONTENTS:
-I path Add 'path' to use search path
-o Output to outfile
-5. EXAMPLES:
+6. EXAMPLES:
- 5.1. Hello World:
+ 6.1. Hello World:
use std
const main = {
@@ -746,7 +810,7 @@ TABLE OF CONTENTS:
TODO: DESCRIBE CONSTRUCTS.
- 5.2. Conditions
+ 6.2. Conditions
use std
const intmax = {a, b
@@ -765,7 +829,7 @@ TABLE OF CONTENTS:
TODO: DESCRIBE CONSTRUCTS.
- 5.3. Looping
+ 6.3. Looping
use std
const innerprod = {a, b
@@ -782,9 +846,9 @@ TABLE OF CONTENTS:
TODO: DESCRIBE CONSTRUCTS.
-6. STYLE GUIDE:
+7. STYLE GUIDE:
- 6.1. Brevity:
+ 7.1. Brevity:
Myrddin is a simple language which aims to strip away abstraction when
possible, and it is not well served by overly abstract or bulky code.
@@ -795,7 +859,7 @@ TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Write for humans, not machines. Write linearly, so that an algorithm
can be understood with minimal function-chasing.
- 6.2. Naming:
+ 7.2. Naming:
Names should be brief and evocative. A good name serves as a reminder
to what the function does. For functions, a single verb is ideal. For
@@ -833,21 +897,17 @@ TABLE OF CONTENTS:
const length_mm = {;...} /* '_' disambiguates returned values. */
const length_cm = {;...}
- 6.3. Collections:
+ 7.3. Collections:
-7. STANDARD LIBRARY:
+8. STANDARD LIBRARY:
This is documented separately.
-8. GRAMMAR:
+9. GRAMMAR:
-9. FUTURE DIRECTIONS:
+10. FUTURE DIRECTIONS:
BUGS:
-[2] TODO: exponential notation.
-[4] TODO: currently the only sequence literal implemented is the
- unindexed one
-