Implementing lazy functional languages on stock hardware (Joe Jevnik)

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Join us for some programming language pragmatics! Joe Jevnik will present Simon Peyton Jone's "Implementing lazy functional languages on stock hardware: the Spineless Tagless G-machine (".

Paper abstract:

The Spineless Tagless G-machine is an abstract machine designed to support nonstrict higher-order functional languages. This presentation of the machine falls into three parts. Firstly, we give a general discussion of the design issues involved in implementing non-strict functional languages.

Next, we present the STG language, an austere but recognisably-functional language, which as well as a denotational meaning has a well-defi ned operational semantics. The STG language is the "abstract machine code" for the Spineless Tagless G-machine.

Lastly, we discuss the mapping of the STG language onto stock hardware. The success of an abstract machine model depends largely on how e cient this mapping can be made, though this topic is often relegated to a short section. Instead, we give a detailed discussion of the design issues and the choices we have made. Our principal target is the C language, treating the C compiler as a portable assembler.