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Experimental VM for a `Candor` language

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README.md

CandorBuild Status

Candor is a language inspired by javascript, but with less features and, therefore, less complexity. So no semicolons, no exceptions and simplified anonymous function syntax (dart-like).

Main goal of Candor is to provide a powerful and developer-friendly language that can be easily optimized by compiler.

Description

Experimental implementation of Candor language VM. Join #candor channel on irc.freenode.net and official google group to discuss language features.

Danger! This whole project is not stable at all, many things are broken and may/will change in future

Example

// Defining a recursive function
factorial(x) {
  if (x == 1) return 1
  return x * factorial(x - 1)
}

factorial(10)

// Implementing a forEach function
forEach(array, callback) {
  if (typeof array != "array") return
  length = sizeof array
  i = 0
  while (i < length) {
    callback(i, array[i])
    i++
  }
}

// Implementing switch with chained if..else
type = typeof value
if      (type == "nil")     handleNil(value)
else if (type == "boolean") handleBoolean(value)
else if (type == "number")  handleNumber(value)
else if (type == "string")  handleString(value)
else handleObject(value)

// Implementing switch using objects
handlers = {
  "nil":     handleNil,
  "boolean": handleBoolean,
  "number":  handleNumber,
  "string":  handleString
}
handler = handlers[typeof value]
if (handler) handler(value)
else handleObject(value)

As you can see, there're no semicolons, statements are separated by newline symbols (whitespace is ignored).

Language basics

Candor is essentially inspired by the ECMA-script, but has much less features and complexity (for compiler).

Functions are declared in dart-like style, variables are implicitly scoped (i.e. if variable has no use in outer scopes, it'll be allocated in one where you declared it).

// Keywords: nil, true, false, typeof, sizeof, keysof, if, else, while,
// for, break, continue, return, new

// Primitives
nil
true
false
NaN
1
'abc'
"abc"
[1, 2, 3]
{ a: 1, 'b': 2, "c": 3 }

// Variables and objects
a = 1
a.b = "abc"
a.b.c = a
a[b()][c] = x

delete a[b] // removes key and value from object

// While object literals are restricted to declaring strings as keys, any value
// can be used as a key. This allows for all kinds of interesting data
// structures like efficient sets and unique unguessable keys.
a = { "5": "five" }
a[5] = 5
a["5"]         // -> "five"
a[5]           // -> 5
a[{ hello: "World" }] = "key is object, value is string!"

// Functions
a() {
  return 1
}
a()
// Functions are also objects and can have properties
a.b = "foo"

// Arrays are also objects, except they internally keep track of the largest
// integer index so that sizeof works with them.
a = [1,2,3]
a.foo = true
sizeof a       // -> 3
a.foo          // -> true

// typeof.  Sometimes it's useful to know what type a variable is

typeof nil     // -> "nil"
typeof true    // -> "boolean"
typeof false   // -> "boolean"
typeof 42      // -> "number"
typeof "Hello" // -> "string"
typeof [1,2,3] // -> "array"
typeof {a: 5}  // -> "object"
typeof (){}    // -> "function"

// sizeof gives the size of an array (max integer key + 1) or string (number of bytes)
// gives nil for other types

sizeof "Hello" // -> 5
sizeof [1,2,3] // -> 3
sizeof {}      // -> 0

// keysof returns an array of all the keys in an object
keys = keysof { name: "Tim", age: 29 }
keys           // -> ["name", "age"]

// Control flow

// The variables in the condition head are scoped with the condition, not the
// optional body block.

// Conditionals
person = { age: 29, name: "Tim" }

// With block
if (person.age > 18) {
  person.name  // -> "Tim"
}

// Without block
if (person.age > 18) person.name

// using else
if (person.age > 18) {
  // do something with `person`
} else {
  // do something else
}

if (person.age > 18) action(person)
else otherAction()

// While loops
i = 0
sum = 0
while (i < 10) {
  sum = sum + i
  i++
}

// break and continue. `while` loop can have `break` and `continue`
// break exits a loop immediately, continue, skips to the next iteration

// Object Oriented Programming

// There are no dynamic prototypes in candor, but there is a fast-clone
// operation and special method calling syntax to make OOP style programming
// possible if you prefer that style.

// Create a prototype object
Rectangle = {
  getArea: (self) {
    return self.w * self.h
  },
  initialize: (self, w, h) {
    self.w = w
    self.h = h
  }
}

// First create a fast shallow clone of the Rectangle prototype
rect = clone Rectangle

// Then initialize it using a one of the functions
rect.initialize(rect, 3, 5)

// Now we can use this object
rect.getArea(rect) // -> 15

// To make calling methods easier, there is special syntax sugar using `:`
// instead of `.` for function calls. It means to call the function with
// whatever is left of the `:` as the first argument.

// The previous two calls can be written as:
rect:initialize(3, 5)
rect:getArea() // -> 15

Building

git clone git://github.com/indutny/candor.git
cd candor
make test

Status of project

Things that are implemented currently:

  • Language lexer and parser
  • Assigning on-stack and context variables
  • Binary and unary operations
  • Unboxing of heap numbers
  • Floating point operations
  • Function calls, passing arguments and using returned value
  • Stop-the-world copying two-space garbage collector
  • Hash-maps (objects), numeric and string keys
  • Arrays
  • Typeof, Sizeof, Keysof
  • String concatenation
  • Parser/lexer/compiler errors
  • Break/Continue statements
  • C++/C bindings support for candor
  • C++/C bindings documentation
  • Dense arrays
  • Cons strings
  • HIR/LIR Compiler!!!

Things to come:

  • On-stack replacement and profile-based optimizations
  • Incremental GC
  • Usage in multiple-threads (aka isolates)
  • See TODO for more up-to-date tasks

Contributing

Any bug-fixes or feature implementations are always welcome! Only one restriction is applied to the code - it should follow Google C++ Style Guide.

Want to get in, but don't feel like you know a lot about designing compilers? No problem at all - I prepared a list of papers that may help you understand things going in Candor better: Compiler-papers.

Credits

Special thanks to:

  • creationix for suggesting the name for this project!
  • hij1nx for contributing awesome logo!

LICENSE

Copyright (c) 2012, Fedor Indutny.

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

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