[Haskell-cafe] I Need a Better Functional Language!

Andrew Butterfield andrew.butterfield at cs.tcd.ie
Thu Apr 5 17:25:19 CEST 2012


Intel's Forte was the framework,

reFLect was the language :  http://www.cs.ox.ac.uk/tom.melham/res/reflect.html

Quoting that page:
"reFLect is a functional programming language designed and implemented by a team at Intel Corporation's Strategic CAD Labs under the direction of Jim Grundy. The language is strongly typed and similar to ML, but provides certain reflection features intended for applications in industrial hardware design and verification. Like LISP, reFLect has quotation and antiquotation constructs that may be used to construct and decompose expressions in the language itself. Unlike LISP, these mechanisms are typed. The language also provides a primitive mechanism for pattern-matching, and in particular for defining functions over code by pattern-matching on the structure of reFLect expressions."

On 5 Apr 2012, at 15:14, Grigory Sarnitskiy wrote:

> Hello! I've just realized that Haskell is no good for working with functions!
> First, what are 'functions' we are interested at? It can't be the usual set-theoretic definition, since it is not constructive. The constructive definition should imply functions that can be constructed, computed. Thus these are computable functions that should be of our concern. But computable functions in essence are just a synonym for programs.
> One could expect from a language that bears 'functional' as its characteristic to be able to do everything imaginable with functions. However, the only thing Haskell can do with functions is to apply them to arguments and to feed them as arguments, run in parallel (run and concatenate programs).
> Obviously, that's not all of the imaginable possibilities. One also can rewrite programs. And write programs that rewrite programs. And write programs that rewrite programs that rewrite the first programs and so on. But there is no such possibility in Haskell, except for introducing a DSL.
> So now I wonder, what are the languages that are functional in the sense above? With a reasonable syntax and semantics, thus no assembler. I guess Lisp might be of this kind, but I'm not sure. In addition, I'm not a fan of parentheses. What else? Pure? Mathematica? Maxima?
> Note, that the reflectivity is important.
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Andrew Butterfield     Tel: +353-1-896-2517     Fax: +353-1-677-2204
Lero at TCD, Head of Foundations & Methods Research Group
Director of Teaching and Learning - Undergraduate,
School of Computer Science and Statistics,
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