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readme.md

readme.md

Cosmos

  1. (noun) the world or universe regarded as an orderly, harmonious system.

Cosmos is a modern logic programming language.

Note: the language is in very early alpha.

Download

Coming soon.

Documentation

Coming soon.

Building

Building from the source requires SWI-Prolog (7.1.16+). Run make cosmos and move the executable to swipl/bin. If you're on an environment where the Makefile doesn't work, look into the make.sh, make.bat or make86.bat scripts.

Files

  • list.cosmos, string.cosmos, math.cosmos, io.cosmos, logic.cosmos and table.cosmos contain the standard library for Cosmos programs.
  • core.pl contains the language core. It is the only part of the Cosmos implementation that is not written in Cosmos itself, but in Prolog. It's used by the standard library as well as the compiler.
  • types.cosmos, lexer.cosmos, whitespacer.cosmos, parser.cosmos and gen.cosmos contain the Cosmos compiler, cosmos.cosmos contains the compiler frontend.

You can rebuild the standard library with

$ make stdlib-clean
$ make stdlib

You can rebuild the compiler modules with

$ make compiler-clean
$ make compiler

To build the compiler executable, use

$ make cosmos

To run the two test files, use

$ make test

Finally, you can rebuild the compiler, then rebuild the standard library with that compiler, and then rebuild the compiler with that new standard library with

$ make rebuild

Queries

You can try out the language by opening the interpreter and making queries to the language.

$ cosmos -i
> x=1
| x = 1
> x=1 or 2=x
| x = 1
| x = 2

Overview

Philosophy

The design of the language aims for simplicity and minimalism. This is done by adopting few but powerful core features: relations, functors, tables and types. As a result, the language is concise and easy-to-learn without sacrificing expressiveness.

rel main()
    x = io.read()
    io.writeln("hello, "+x+'!')

The syntax is close to that of a typical scripting language (Python/JavaScript/Lua). The difference is that whereas traditional scripting languages tend to focus on imperative programming, Cosmos focuses on declarative (logic and functional) programming.

Relations

Instead of functions, Cosmos has relations.

Relations allow input and output parameters to be used interchangeably.

//note that the there is no 'return' in the definition
//instead, the parameter y is explicit
rel double(x, y)
    y = x*2
    
rel main()
    double(3, y) //y is 6
    double(x, 6) //x is 3
    io.writeln('the double of '+math.integerToString(x)+' is '+math.integerToString(y)) //the double of 3 is 6

When a relation is nested, the last parameter is hidden.

rel main()
    io.writeln(double(3)) //this will print 6
    x = double(4) //x is 8

Although it is a logic programming language, code in this language can look and behave very conventionally: the above code might seem imperative or functional.

Whereas functions have one output, relations may have zero, one or more outputs. You can check this by making queries at the interpreter.

> x=1 or x=2 //this query has two answers (outputs)
| x = 1
| x = 2

If the system picks one answer and it turns out to be invalid, the system will backtrack and pick the other.

rel p(x)
    x=1 or x=2
    
rel main()
	p(x)
	x!=1
	io.writeln(x) //2

Relations are first-class values. It's possible to define a relation within another.

rel p(x)
    rel temp(x)
        x = 2
    temp(x)
    
rel main(x)
    p(x) //x is 2

Alternatively:

rel p(x)
    temp = rel(x)
        x = 2
    temp(x)

Functors

Functors are composite data.

FunctorObject F //declares an object for creating functors
x = F(1, 2) //x is assigned to a functor F composed by the values 1 and 2
x = F(1, a) //uses pattern matching to match F(1, 2) against F(1, a)
print(a) //2

Lists are syntax sugar for the functor Cons. Here are two ways to define a list:

l = [1, 2]
l = Cons(1, Cons(2, Cons))

Relations such as first, map and filter can be used to manipulate lists.

rel main()
    l = [1,2,3]
    list.first(l, head) //head is 1
    list.rest(l, tail) //tail is [2, 3]
    list.map(l, math.inc, l2) //l2 is [2, 3, 4]
    list.map(l3, math.inc, l) //l3 is [0, 1, 2]
    list.filter(l, rel(x) x!=3;, l4) //l4 is [1, 2]

Immutability

Variables are immutable. Instead of modifying a value we create a new one.

    l2 = list.push(l, 55) //instead of modifying l, we create a new variable l2
    io.writeln(l)  //[1, 2, 3]
    io.writeln(l2) //[1, 2, 3, 55]

Cosmos adopts many principles and features that are common in functional programming languages (although the principles apply to relations rather than functions).

Types

Cosmos manages a balance between strictness and non-strictness. Writing the type of a variable is (almost always) optional.

    Integer n = 7
    Real x = 5.2
    String s = 'abc'
    z = 5 //z is implied to be an Integer
    Functor l = [1, 2, 3]
    FunctorObject F
    Functor f = F('apple', 5)

The type system supports composite types.

    Functor String Number f2 = F('apple', 2)

Functor String Number is a composite type that accepts any functor whose first element is a string and second is a number.

    Relation Any Any p = double

Relations get composite types. Relation Any Any is a type that accepts any relation with exactly two arguments.

Tables

Tables are structures that map keys to values.

    Table t = {}
    table.set(t, 'a', 1, t2)
    table.set(t2, 'b', 2, t3)
    table.get(t2, 'a', x)
    
    io.writeln(t) //{}
    io.writeln(t3) //{a = 1 and b = 2}
    io.writeln(x) //1

Booleans

There is no boolean type. Instead, relations themselves are "booleans".

Code such as

    if(s = 'a')
        x = 0
    elseif(s = 'b')
        x = 1
    else
        x = 2

is simply sugar for

    (s = 'a' and x = 0) or (s = 'b' and x = 1) or x = 2

Whitespace

The language is whitespace sensitive.

rel p(x)
    x!=1
    x<5

This could be a single line.

rel p(x) x!=1 and x<5;

It's possible to drop the whitespace semantics by writing the unnecessary characters, although this is not generally advisable.

Note that relations from different lines are separated by ands (semicolons are only used to end the indendation).

Host

Cosmos is currently compiled into Prolog. As such, it's possible to call predicates of Prolog from Cosmos.

rel write(x)
    pl::write(x) //calls Prolog predicate 'write'
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