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Applications of Blockchain to Programming Language Theory

Let's talk about Blockchain. Goal is to use this forum topic to highlight its usefulness to programming language theory and practice. If you're familiar with existing research efforts, please share them here. In addition, feel free to generate ideas for how Blockchain could improve languages and developer productivity. As one tasty example: Blockchain...

Turnstile+: Dependent Type Systems as Macros

In 2017, a team from Northeastern University released Turnstile, a framework for implementing propositionally typed languages in Racket; cf. naasking's story Type Systems as Macros. The system was really nice because it allowed type systems to be expressed in a manner similar to the way theoretical PL researchers would in a paper, and because it hooked...

Histogram: You have to know the past to understand the present by Tomas Petricek

Histogram: You have to know the past to understand the present by Tomas Petricek, University of Kent Programs are created through a variety of interactions. A programmer might write some code, run it interactively to check whether it works, use copy and paste, apply a refactoring or choose an item from an auto-complete list. Programming research often...

Applied Category Theory - The Emerging Science of Compositionality

An enjoyable 25-minute introductory talk: YOW! Lambda Jam 2019 - Ken Scambler - Applied Category Theory (slides) What do programming, quantum physics, chemistry, neuroscience, systems biology, natural language parsing, causality, network theory, game theory, dynamical systems and database theory have in common? As functional programmers, we know how...

Tensor Considered Harmful

Tensor Considered Harmful, by Alexander Rush TL;DR: Despite its ubiquity in deep learning, Tensor is broken. It forces bad habits such as exposing private dimensions, broadcasting based on absolute position, and keeping type information in documentation. This post presents a proof-of-concept of an alternative approach, named tensors, with named dimensions....

Seven Sketches in Compositionality: An Invitation to Applied Category Theory

Seven Sketches in Compositionality: An Invitation to Applied Category Theory 2018 by Brendan Fong and David I. Spivak Category theory is becoming a central hub for all of pure mathematics. It is unmatched in its ability to organize and layer abstractions, to find commonalities between structures of all sorts, and to facilitate communication between...

"Three Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Designing Languages"

The transcript of Three Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Designing Languages, a talk given by Peter Alvaro somewhere or other, is up at Info Q. Peter Alavaro's main research interest is in taming distributed systems. He starts his talk with the provocative thesis, "In the future, all radical new languages will be domain-specific languages." He...

Selective Functors

From Andrey Mokhov's twitter feed: Is there any intermediate abstraction between applicative functors and monads? And if yes, what is it? In a new paper with @geo2A, @simonmar and @dimenix we explore "selective functors", which are essentially applicative functors with branching: https://www.staff.ncl.ac.uk/andrey.mokhov/selective-functors.pdf We've...

The Little Typer

A new introductory book about dependent types, involving some familiar names: The Little Typer by Daniel P. Friedman and David Thrane Christiansen. Foreword by Robert Harper. Afterword by Conor McBride. An introduction to dependent types, demonstrating the most beautiful aspects, one step at a time. A program's type describes its behavior. Dependent...

On compositionality

Jules Hedges has written a thought-provoking blog post, On compositionality where he connects the familiar idea of compositionality to the idea of emergent effects in nature, where systems can be understood as either having compositional properties or emergent properties. The key point about emergent systems is that they are hard to understand, and...

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