Object-oriented, managed programing language that plays nice with C
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Staple Programming Language

Staple is a general-purpose object-oriented programming language. Staple's focuses on being simple, powerful, and fast. Staple is designed to be a better alternative to C, C++, or Obj-C. Built using LLVM technology, Staple code compiles directly to machine code for many computer architectures including x86/x86-64, ARM, MIPS, PowerPC, and SPARC. Staple has a very light-weight runtime and can be easily ported to any operating system, or embedded environment.

Staple's syntax feels similar to Java or C++. If you are already comfortable with Java, you will feel right at home with Staple.

class LinkedList {
  int size;
  Node* head;
  Node* tail;

  void add(obj* data) {
    Node* newNode = new Node;
    newNode.data = data;
    tail.next = newNode;
    tail = newNode;
    size = size + 1;


class Node {
  Node* next;
  Node* prev;
  obj* data;

Staple is designed to "play nice" with libraries written in C. Calling a function written in C is as easy as declaring its prototype with extern keyword and then calling it like a regular function.

int main(int argc, uint8** argv) {
  int x = atoi(argv@1);
  int y = fib(x);
  printf("fib(%d) = %d", x, y);
  return 0;

int fib(int x) {
  if(x == 0) {
    return 0;
  } else if(x == 1) {
    return 1;
  } else {
    return fib(x-1) + fib(x-2);

extern int printf(uint8*, ...)
extern int atoi(uint8*)

Reference Counting and ARC

Staple uses reference counting for tracking object allocated on the heap. Staple's compiler automatically inserts retain and release calls similar to the Automatic Reference Counting (ARC) feature available in Obj-C. This relieves the programmer from worrying about managing memory explicitly.

Compile a Staple Program

$ ./stp -g test.stp
$ llc -O0 -filetype=obj -o output.o output.ll
$ gcc -o test output.o build/stp_runtime/stp_runtime.a
$ ./test

Build the Staple Compiler

Build Dependencies:

  • g++ or clang (support for C++ 11/14 or greater)
  • LLVM 3.5 (apt-get install llvm-dev)
  • Bison (apt-get install bison)
  • Flex (apt-get install flex)

Test C Code

$ clang helloworld.c -S -emit-llvm -O0