The Habit Programming Language: The Revised Preliminary Report
Habit is a systems programming dialect of Haskell from the High-Assurance Systems Programming (HASP) project at Portland State University. From The Habit Programming Language: The Revised Preliminary Report
This report presents a preliminary design for the programming language Habit, a dialect of Haskell that supports the development of high quality systems software. The primary commitments of the design are as follows:
* Systems programming: Unlike Haskell, which was intended to serve as a general purpose functional programming language, the design of Habit focusses on features that are needed in systems software development. These priorities are re?ected fairly directly in the new features that Habit provides for describing bit-level and memory-based data representations, the introduction of new syntactic extensions to facilitate monadic programming, and, most signi?cantly, the adoption of a call-by-value semantics to improve predictability of execution. The emphasis on systems programming also impacts the design in less direct ways, including assumptions about the expected use of whole program compilation and optimization strategies in a practical Habit implementation.
* High assurance: Although most details of Haskell’s semantics have been formalized at some point in the research literature, there is no consolidated formal description of the whole language. There are also known differences in semantics, particularly with respect to operational behavior, between different Haskell implementations in areas where the Haskell report provides no guidance. Although it is not addressed in the current report, a high-priority for Habit is to provide a full, formal semantics for the complete language that can be used as a foundation for reasoning and formal veri?cation, a mechanism for ensuring consistency between implementations, and a basis for reliably predicting details about memory allocation, asymptotic behavior, and resource utilization.
HASP has a couple of postdoc positions open to help with Habit.
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