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New version of the PML language and (classical) proof assistant


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The PML₂ programming language and proof assistant

The PML₂ language provides a uniform environment for programming, and for proving properties of programs in an ML-like setting. The language is Curry-style and call-by-value, it provides a control operator (interpreted in terms of classical logic), it supports general recursion and a very general form of (implicit, non-coercive) subtyping. In the system, equational properties of programs are expressed using two new type formers, and they are proved by constructing terminating programs. Although proofs rely heavily on equational reasoning, equalities are exclusively managed by the type-checker. This means that the user only has to choose which equality to use, and not where to use it, as is usually done in mathematical proofs. In the system, writing proofs mostly amounts to applying lemmas (possibly recursive function calls), and to perform case analyses (pattern matchings).

Related documents and prototypes:

Dependencies and compilation

PML₂ requiere a Unix-like system. It should work well on Linux as well as on MacOS. It might also be possible to make it work on Windows with Cygwyn or with "bash on Windows").

List of dependencies:

Using Opam, a suitable OCaml environment can be setup as follows.

opam switch 4.05.0
eval `opam config env`
opam install dune>=1.7.0 bindlib.5.0.1 earley.2.0.0

To compile PML₂, just run the command make in the source directory. This produces the main.native binary, which can be run on files with the .pml extension (use ./main.native --help for more informations).

make install   # optionally install the program.
make doc       # optionally produce the ocamldoc documentation

Organization of the repository

This folder contains files related to the PML project.

The source files can be found in the following folders:

  • src/util contains a set of libraries not directly related to PML,
  • src/parser contains a low level AST of the language and the parser,
  • src/kernel contains the core of PML (type checking, equivalence, AST...),
  • src/ is the main program.

Other directories:

  • editors contains PML modes for editors (vim and emacs only),
  • lib contains the PML standard library (very small),
  • test contains most of our examples of PML programs,

The directories tmp and attic are not relevant as the contain files used for debugging the newest features including termination checking and old code that we want to keep somewhere.

Support for the Vim (or Neovim) editor

After installing PML (with make install), you will need to add the following lines to you .vimrc file (if they are not already present).

" PML stuff
let g:opamshare = substitute(system('opam config var share'),'\n$','','''')
execute "set rtp+=" . g:opamshare . "/pml/vim"

Note that it may be necessary for these lines to appear before the following line.

filetype plugin indent on

Support for the Emacs editor

After installing PML (with make install), you will need to add the following lines to you .emacs file.

;; PML stuff
(load "pml-mode")

Where to start in the code

My advice to start looking at the code would be to take a look at the three different abstract syntax representations.

  • The main abstract syntax is implemented as a GADT in src/kernel/,
  • The abstract syntax after parsing can be found in src/parser/, together with the first level of type checking (sorting),
  • The graph representation of terms for the decision of equivalence can be found in src/kernel/

The implementation of type checking can be found in src/kernel/, and the function for comparing expressions (including the unification functions) are in src/kernel/