Free Trial

Safari Books Online is a digital library providing on-demand subscription access to thousands of learning resources.

  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL
Help

8. Haskell > Formalism and Evolution

Formalism and Evolution

What value do you see in defining formal semantics for a language?

Simon: Formal semantics underwrite everything that we’ve done with Haskell. If you look at my publications, for example, you’ll see that most papers will contain some formalism that tries to explain what’s going on. Even for something as imperative as transactional memory, that paper had a formal semantics for what transactions meant.

Formal semantics is a fantastic way to get a handle on an idea, to try to nail down some of the details and flush some of the tricky corners out into the open. But in a real language, when everything plays together, to actually formalize everything for the whole of your language is quite burdensome. I take my hat off to the Definition of Standard ML because I think it’s a tour de force. It’s pretty much the only language that has a rather complete formal description.


  

You are currently reading a PREVIEW of this book.

                                                                                                                    

Get instant access to over $1 million worth of books and videos.

  

Start a Free 10-Day Trial


  
  • Safari Books Online
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint