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* add basic error handler function to validate approach

* do not print backtrace but save in registry

* bump lua version and fix travis setup so test suite can find titan runtime library

* abstract throwing of errors by titan code to generator function instead of directly using luaL_error

* reserve first stack slot for error value

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Titan is a new programming language, designed to be a statically-typed, ahead-of-time compiled sister language to Lua. It is an application programming language with a focus on performance.


First you need to download, extract and build the sources to Lua 5.3.5 inside the folder where you cloned this repository. The Lua tarball will extract to a lua-5.3.5 folder. Enter it and build Lua with make linux MYCFLAGS=-fPIC.

You can install the Titan compiler itself using LuaRocks this will also install all dependencies automatically.

    $ [install luarocks]
    $ luarocks make titan-scm-1.rockspec

To install without sudo permissions.

    $ [cd into titan folder]
    $ luarocks build --local

You can also run the Titan compiler directly from the folder where you cloned this repository if you install all the dependencies for the compiler.

Requirements for running the compiler

  1. LPegLabel >= 1.5.0
  2. inspect >= 3.1.0
  3. argparse >= 0.5.0
  4. luafilesystem >= 1.7.0


    $ titanc [--print-ast] [--lua <path>] [--tree <path>] <module> [<module>]

The compiler takes a list of module names that you want to compile. Modules are looked up in the source tree (defaults to the current working directory, but you can override this with the --tree option), as well as in the Titan binary path, a semicolon-separated list of paths (defaults to .;/usr/local/lib/titan/0.5, you can override with a TITAN_PATH_0_5 or TITAN_PATH environment variable).

If everything is all right with your modules, you will get the result of your compilation as a native binary:

  • if one of your Titan modules has a main function, with signature function({string}):integer, then titanc will bundle all modules given in the command-line, along with all their dependencies where source code was available, as a stand-alone executable program.
  • Otherwise, it will compile each module into a shared library (in the same path as the module source) that you can import from Titan as well as require from Lua, and call any exported functions/access exported variables. For each generated module, any of its transitive imports is statically linked if source code was found; dependencies that were only available as a shared library will be dynamically loaded.

Running the test suite

The test suite es written using Busted, which can be installed using LuaRocks:

    $ luarocks install busted

Then, you need to bulid the local copy of Lua, and run busted from the root directory of this repository:

    $ cd lua
    $ make linux
    $ cd ..
    $ busted

You may need to adapt the invocation of make above to your platform.

Compiler options

    --print-ast                     Print the AST.
    --lua <path>                    Path to the Lua sources (default 'lua-5.3.5/src')
    --tree <path>                   Path to the source tree for your Titan modules (default '.')
    -h, --help                      Show this help message and exit.

Tentative roadmap

This is a very preliminary roadmap towards Titan 1.0, where everything is subject to change, with things more likely to change the further they are in the roadmap:


  • control structures
  • integers
  • floats
  • booleans
  • strings
  • arrays
  • top-level functions
  • early-bound modules
  • multiple assignment/multiple returns
  • FFI with C (C pointers, call C functions)
  • records (structs) with methods
  • maps

In progress

  • first-class functions (still only in the top-level)


  • FFI with C, continued (C arrays, C structs)
  • standard library that is a subset of Lua's standard library, built using the C FFI
  • tagged variants (unions of structs with some syntax for switch/case on the tag)
  • polymorphic functions
  • for-in
  • self-hosted compiler
  • nested and anonymous first-class functions with proper lexical scoping (closures)
  • ":" syntax sugar for records of functions
  • classes with single inheritance, either Go/Java/C#/Swift-like interfaces/protocols or Haskell/Rust-like typeclasses/traits
  • ":" method calls (not syntax sugar)
  • operator overloading
  • ...Titan 1.0!