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SECDH stands for "Stack-Environment-Code-Dump-Heap", and is an
abstract machine based on Landin's classic SECD machine for evaluation
of lambda-calculus expressions. This machine adds a heap of suspension
cells to the structure managed by the machine, allowing fully-lazy
evaluation, similar to Haskell. The machine operates directly on the
syntax tree, as Landin's machine does. The entire implementation,
including parser, evaluator, and garbage collector, occupies just over
1100 lines of code.

This implementation also allows Haskell-style monadic IO. Primitive
operations are provided for reading and writing a charater to the console.

Integer literals of arbitrary size are supported.  Character literals
such as 'a' are supported. (The only character escapes supported are
'\n', '\t', '\\', and '\'', however.) A unit type () is supported as
well. Booleans are not supported as primitives, but handled (as is
traditional) using binary functions.

The "undefined" value is provided so that partial functions may be
defined, via the "_" symbol.  This value behaves like Haskell's

Quick Start

Build using cabal, then run the "secdh" executable using the file(s)
you wish to execute as arguments.  The file "lib.slam" in the
programs/ directory contains some basic functions that may be useful
to you.  If the first argument to secdh is "-s", some statistics about
the execution will be dumped.

There are some example programs in the programs/ directory.  These
should be run with lib.secdh as well; for example:

  ./dist/build/secdh/secdh programs/lib.slam programs/sieve.slam

Programs are executed by evaluating the "main" symbol, which must be
an integer or IO action. If the result is an IO action, it will be
performed, after which the result produced will be printed to the console.
If main is an integer expression, it will be evaluated then printed.


The evaluator understands a simple quasi-untyped, fully lazy lambda
calculus, called Slambda. It supports mutually-recursive definitions
via a letrec-like construct. Additionally, function arguments can
optionally be made strict (as in Haskell) by prefixing them with a
bang ("!") character.

Lambda abstractions are introduced using, for example,

  \x y z  . f x y z

The backslash begins the argument list, and the dot terminates it,
begining the body. The body always extends as far as possible (usually
to a closing parenthesis or bracket, or a semicolon).

Letrec-style mutual definitions are introduced using, for example,

  [ a := foo; b := bar . f a b ]

Comments begin with a "#" symbol, and continue to the end of the line.
Whitespace (and comments) maybe added arbitratily between tokens.

The EBNF syntax follows:

  program := definitions

  definitions := definition (";" definition)*

  definition := symbol ":=" term
              | empty
  empty := <nothing>
  digit := <any digit 0 through 9>
  space := <any whitespace>
  any   := <any character>
  special := "\"
           | "%"
           | "!"
           | "."
           | "("
           | ")"
           | "["
           | "]"
           | ";"
           | "#"
  symbolrest := any - (space | special)
  symbolinit := symbolrest - (digit | "'" | "_")
  symbol := symbolinit symbolrest*
  charlit := "'" (any - "\") "'"
           | "'\n'"
           | "'\t'"
           | "'\''"
           | "'\\'"
  intlit := digit+
  prim := '%' symbolrest+
  term := charlit
        | intlit
        | "()"
        | "_"
        | prim
        | ( term )
        | "[" definitions "." term "]"
        | "\" symbol+ "." term
        | term term


The machine exposes several primitive functions that can be used in
programs. Primitive symbols always begin with a "%" character.  Some
primitives are predicates, but since no primitive booleans are
provided, they instead return functions for true and false that are
equivalent to:

  true  := \t f . t;
  false := \t f . f;

The primitives available for use follow.  Whenever x or y is used as
an argument, any value (other than _) maybe used. Whenever m or n is
the argument, the value must be an integer, and similarly, for a c
argument, the value must be a character. Whenever io is used, the
argument must be an IO action.

  Primitive/Args     Result
  --------------     ------
  %unit? x           true if x is (); otherwise false
  %integer? x        true if x is an integer; otherwise false
  %lambda? x         true if x is a function that can be applied; otherwise false
  %neg n             -n
  %succ n            n+1
  %pred n            n-1
  %mul2 n            n*2
  %div2 n            n/2
  %zero? x           true if x is an integer and zero; otherwise false
  %pos? x            true if x is an integer and positive; otherwise false
  %add m n           m+n
  %sub m n           m-n
  %mul m n           m*n
  %div m n           m/n
  %mod m n           m mod n
  %eq? x y           true if x and y are both the same integer or character, or both (); otherwise false
  %chr n             the character whose ordinal is n
  %ord c             the ordinal of the character c
  %ioreturn x        an IO action that does nothing and produces the result x
  %iobind io f       performs the IO action io, and passes the result produced on to f (which must return a new IO action)
  %ioread            an IO action that reads a character from the console, and produces it as its result
  %iowrite c         an IO action that writes c to the console, and produces () as its result

Most of these are simple enough to understand; the IO primitives may
require explanation. %ioreturn is identical to Haskell's return
function, except the IO monad is the only monad it works
with. Similarly, %iobind is like Haskell's (>>=), but only for the IO
monad as well.  Attempting to leave the IO monad by using a
non-monadic function as the second argument to %iobind is an error.