[Haskell-cafe] A Procedural-Functional Language (WIP)

Rik Howard rik at dcs.bbk.ac.uk
Sun Oct 23 08:52:51 UTC 2016

Hi Richard

thank you for your reply.  It is becoming apparent that my explanation can
be made clearer.  I'm investigating a language that takes something like
core Haskell (a Lambda Calculus augmented with let blocks) to satisfy its
pure function requirements but that takes a different approach when it
comes to IO by employing procedures.

For IO, a procedure returns only 'okay' or an error via the mechanism that
a function would use for returning values; the non-deterministic values
returned by the procedure are done so with variable parameters.  For
example, to define a procedure to echo once from standard in to out:

    echo = try (read string) (write string) error

The value coming from standard-in is to be captured in the 'string'
out-variable and so is available to be written to standard-out, the 'try'
built-in being analogous to 'if'.

Rough (inconsistent) examples exist; its grammar and type system are in a
slightly better state but not yet written up properly.  What I could
quickly add as an appendix, I have but the notation needs to be made more
standard for easier comparison.  I am working on another paper that will
address the need for a more-concrete and standard presentation.  I hope
that this goes some way to answering your questions; please say if it


On 22 October 2016 at 20:35, Richard Eisenberg <rae at cs.brynmawr.edu> wrote:

> Hi Rik,
> I'm unsure what to make of your proposal, as it's hard for me to glean out
> what you're proposing. Do you have some sample programs written in your
> proposed language? What is the language's grammar? What is its type system
> (stated in terms of inference rules)? Having these concrete descriptors of
> the language would be very helpful in assessing this work.
> Richard
> On Oct 22, 2016, at 8:18 AM, Rik Howard <rik at dcs.bbk.ac.uk> wrote:
> Dear Haskell Cafe Subscribers
> on the recommendation of someone for whom I have great respect, I have
> just subscribed to this list, it having been suggested as being a good
> place for me to get feedback regarding a project that I have been working
> on.  I am humbled by the level of discussion and it feels to be a very bold
> step for me to request anybody's time for my words.
> The linked document is a four-page work-in-progress summary: the length
> being stipulated, potential novelty being the other main requirement.
> Given the requirements, the summary necessarily glosses over some details
> and is not yet, I fear, completely correct.  The conclusion is, more or
> less, the one at which I am aiming; the properties are, more or less, the
> ones that are needed.
> http://www.dcs.bbk.ac.uk/~rik/gallery/work-in-progress/document.pdf
> The work arises from an investigation into functional programming syntax
> and semantics.  The novelty seems to be there but there is too a question
> as to whether it is simply a gimmick.  I try to suggest that it is not but,
> by that stage, there have been many assumptions so it is hard to be sure
> whether the suggestion is valid.  If anyone has any comments, questions or
> suggestions, they would be gratefully received.
> Yours sincerely
> Rik Howard
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