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README.md

Sol - Typesafe Lua

Static type checker and (optional) gradual typing for Lua.

Sol is to Lua as Typescript is to JS.

What?

Sol is a dialect (almost super-set) of Lua which adds optional type annotations, to provide type safety through gradual typing. Sol compiles line-for-line to Lua, and is thus compatible with existing Lua code (both ways) and tools (luajit, profilers, debuggers etc).

The Sol compiler is written in Sol.

At a glance

function sqrt(x: number) -> number?
	return a >= 0 and math.sqrt(x) or nil
end

typedef Interface = {
	foo: int,
	bar: string
}

function use(x: Interface)
	print(x.bar)
end

use{foo: 42, bar: "fortytwo"}

typedef Option = "A" or "B" or "C"
var x = "B" : Option

var CONSTANT = 42

-- Stuff the compiler catches:
x = "D" -- ERROR: "D" is not an Option
X = "A" -- ERROR: 'X' is undeclared
sqrt()  -- ERROR: Missing non-nilable argument 'x'
use{foo: "fortytwo", bar: 42}  -- ERROR
CONSTANT = 1337 -- ERROR: Cannot assign to constant: 'CONSTANT' (upper-case names always assumed constant)

Why?

We need to defend ourselves from Murphy’s Million Monkeys

- Chandler Carruth, Clang

Scripting languages like Lua has many things going for them, but they all fail to catch errors early. Lua is especially bad due to things like implicit globals and nil-defaulting. We need something better. We need to turn away from the darkness of the moon towards the light of the sun. We need Sol.

That being said, dynamically typed languages provides a flexibility that a statically typed language like C++ or Java does not. Sol aims to provide the best of both worlds by the concept of plausible typing.

Type annotations also help makes the code more readable as it provides self-documentation.

State

Sol is no longer in active development.

Similar attempts

There has been other attempts to bring static typing to Lua. However, they all suffer from attempting to be compatible without compilation, which means putting the type into comments or via MetaLua-syntax which makes the code ugly to the point of unintelligibleness. My experience tells me that if it ain't pretty, it ain't gonna be used.

Tidal Lock

Based on MetaLua. Cumbersome syntax:

local n #var number = 42

Compard to Sol:

var n = 42 : number

Lua analyzer

Extremely ugly syntax with type-annotations in comments. A non-starter.

Credit

Parser based on LuaMinify.

About

Lua + Typesafety = Sol

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