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README.md

README

doc/images/bonlang_logo.png

Introduction

It's a programming language! A minimalist (functional) programming language.

I wrote about the whys and the whats here.

First steps

Head over to the examples folder for some good stuff. Basically, your basic hello-world looks like this:

/*
 * file: main.bl
 *
 * This is where I tell you things
 */

module Main where

def main [] = {
    print $ "Hello World!";
}

You need to always have a Main module with a main method defined. This is what the runtime looks for in order to start the program.

Other examples

Lazy evaluation

The language is lazy, so this yields "Lazy Hello" but not "Hello World"

module Main where

def main [] = {
    val sayHello = puts-ln $ "Hello World!";
    puts-ln $ "Lazy Hello!";
}

Those curly braces indicate "Instruction blocks". The runtime will try go through semicolon-separated expressions, reducing where necessary.

So this will produce output

module Main where

def main [] = {
    val print' = print $ "Hello World!";
    print'; // Needs evaluation to happen
}

Functional

The language is functional, so you can treat functions as first class citizens.

def flip [f, x, y] = f $ y x

// Prints out 0.5
def main [] = {
  val flipDiv = flip $ (/);  // flip the order of the division
  puts-ln $ (flipDiv $ 8 4); // 4 / 8 = 0.5
}

This is the flip function found in Haskell (for example).

You can read more about flip here.

Automatic currying

The language supports automatic currying:

module Main where

/**
 * Adds two values
 */
def addValues [x, y] = + $ x y

def main [] = {
    val add2 = addValues $ 2;
    val four = add2 $ 2;

    // Will output '4'
    puts-ln $ four;
}

Or using higher order functions with curried functions

module Main where


def main [] = {
    val addFive    = + $ 5;
    val printArray = map $ puts-ln;

    printArray $ (map $ addFive [0, 5, 10, 15]);
}

Function application

Function application is done with the $ operator after an expression. If the expression is a function, it will be applied. The runtime will throw an error otherwise.

You should be familiar with Polish notation.

Lambda support

The language supports lambdas (closures)

module Main where

/**
 * Will output '4' twice in new lines
 */
def main [] = {
    val λ1 = lambda [x, y] => + $ x y;
    val λ2 = lambda [y] => λ1 $ 2 y;

    puts-ln $ (λ1 $ 2 2);
    puts-ln $ (λ2 $ 2);
}

It also supports simple pattern matching on scalars and lists

def is-zero [num] =
  match num {
    0 -> true;
    _ -> false;
  }

Will only return true for is-zero $ 0

def is-single-element [list] =
  match list {
    [_] -> true;
    _   -> false;
  }

Will only return true for lists with one item, of whatever type and value.

A more advanced usage example would be

Checking a static prefix:

def list-starts-with-one? [list] =
  match list {
    [ 1 | _ ] -> true;
    _         -> false;
  }

Will return true for lists like [1], [1, 2], [1, 2, 3], [1, "a"], [1, 4], [1,-1], but never for lists that don't start with a 1.

Or

def list-has-one-a-wildcard-and-three? [list] =
  match list {
    [ 1, _, 3 | _ ] -> true;
    _               -> false;
  }

Will return true for a list like [1, 3, 3] or [1, -1, 3, 4, 5].

And of course some classic examples using pattern matching

// Gets first element of a given list
// Example: (list-head $ [1, 2, 3]) => 1
def list-head [list] =
  match list {
    []        -> error $ "Empty list";
    [ x | _ ] -> x;
  }

// Discards the first element of a list and returns the rest
// Example: (list-tail $ [1, 2, 3]) => [2, 3]
def list-tail [list] =
  match list {
    []         -> error $ "Empty list";
    [ _ | xs ] -> xs;
  }

// Reverses a list
// Example: (list-reverse $ [1, 2, 3, 4]) => [4, 3, 2, 1]
def list-reverse [list] =
  match list {
    []         -> [];
    [ x | xs ] -> concat-lists $ (list-reverse $ xs) [x];
  }

// Gets a list of successive pairs for a given list
// Example: (list-to-pairs $ [1, 2, 3, 4]) => [[1, 2], [3, 4]]
def list-to-pairs [list] =
  match list {
    []            -> [];
    [_]           -> error $ "Uneven number of elements!";
    [ x, y | xs ] -> concat-lists $ [[x, y]] (list-to-pairs $ xs);
  }

Motivations

This is developed in Haskell, I wanted to test stack and parsec, and that eventually turned into this.

I first read (and actually this contains code from) Write Yourself a Scheme in 48 Hours. That prompted me to design this. It has elements from Haskell, Scala, and Lisp.

It's fun.

Brought to you by

Carlos D'Agostino.

You can visit my blog here https://cdagostino.io

Disclaimer.

About my fixation with the number 4.

LICENSE

See LICENSE file in this repo.

TODOS

See TODO file in this repo.

About

Minimalist language created at ZuriHac 2016 in Zurich, CH

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