[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [Axiom-developer] [EXTERNAL] Re: Axiom's Sane redesign musings

From: William Sit
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] [EXTERNAL] Re: Axiom's Sane redesign musings
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2019 21:45:56 +0000

Dear Tim:

According to Wiki on currying (, 
paragraph on lambda calculi):

"Curried functions may be used in any programming language that supports 
closures; however, uncurried functions are generally preferred for efficiency 
reasons, since the overhead of partial application and closure creation can 
then be avoided for most function calls."
See also the paragraph on "Contrast with partial function application."

Moreover, under the paragraph on "Category theory,"

"Currying can break down in one of two ways. One is if a category is not 
closed, and thus lacks an internal hom functor (possibly because there is more 
than one choice for such a functor). Another ways is if it is not monoidal, and 
thus lacks a product (that is, lacks a way of writing down pairs of objects). 
Categories that do have both products and internal homs are exactly the closed 
monoidal categories."

The rest of that paragraph is also worth reading and by examples, it shows 
perhaps why the logic notation is preferred because closed monoidal categories 
are very common. In particular:

"By contrast, the product for monoidal categories (such as Hilbert space and 
the vector spaces of functional analysis) is the tensor product. The internal 
language of such categories is linear logic, a form of quantum logic; the 
corresponding type system is the linear type system. Such categories are 
suitable for describing entangled quantum states, and, more generally, allow a 
vast generalization of the Curry–Howard correspondence to quantum mechanics, to 
cobordisms in algebraic topology, and to string theory.[1] The linear type 
system, and linear logic are useful for describing synchronization primitives, 
such as mutual exclusion locks, and the operation of vending machines."

Even if the goal is to have compatibility with other systems that uses currying 
or logic convention, it may not make sense to change the Axiom signature syntax 
for multi-input functions (which requires changes to the compiler and other 
components). Perhaps a compromise would be to create a bidirectional 
translation Axiom package to facilitate the interfaces (that is, an 
implementation of currying and uncurrying in Axiom to the targeted CAS using 
the currying convention). This should not be too hard in Lisp (for you :-)). 
This has the advantage that if the computation is from a currying system but to 
be done in Axiom, there is only one overhead call (uncurrying) for input, and 
perhaps another for output (currying, if the output is a function type); and if 
the computation is from Axiom but to be done in a currying system, there is 
also just one overhead call (currying) for input (here, I assume the currying 
system has optimized its implementation), and perhaps another (decurrying, if 
the output is a function).

There is no need to reinvent the wheel for either system.


William Sit
Professor Emeritus
Department of Mathematics
The City College of The City University of New York
New York, NY 10031

From: Axiom-developer <axiom-developer-bounces+wyscc=address@hidden> on behalf 
of Tim Daly <address@hidden>
Sent: Friday, July 12, 2019 5:11 AM
To: axiom-dev
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] [EXTERNAL] Re: Axiom's Sane redesign musings


I would like to remain faithful to Axiom's syntax for signatures

foo: (%,%) -> %

but the world seems to have converged on

foo: % -> % -> %

This shows up everywhere in logic, in haskell, etc.
It allows for a primitive kind of currying, the "right curry"
(Some form of scheme allows currying anywhere in the
argument list, including multiple currying)

I need to logic-style signatures for the axioms so the
tempation is to rewrite the Axiom signatures using the
logic notation.

I can do both but it might be clearer to follow the world
rather than follow our own, given the user base.


On 7/9/19, Tim Daly <address@hidden> wrote:
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Tim Daly <address@hidden>
> Date: Tue, 9 Jul 2019 22:56:24 -0400
> Subject: Re: [EXTERNAL] Re: [Axiom-developer] Axiom's Sane redesign musings
> To: Martin Baker <address@hidden>
> Progress is being made. Axiom was written long before Common
> Lisp existed. A lot of the code is due to translations from Maclisp
> and LispVM.
> I'm moving the Axiom hierarchy to Common Lisp CLOS code.
> This has several advantages.
> It eliminates the databases. They were created because there
> was not enough memory (at 16 megabytes).
> It uses native code to do dispatch.
> CLOS defclass creates Common Lisp types so all of the code
> is well-typed at the lisp level.
> CLOS is lisp so ordinary lisp code can use Axiom functions
> directly. This makes Axiom into an "embeddable library".
> CLOS is the target language for the Axiom compiler. The
> compiler is being re-architected to use nano passes [0] for
> compiling. This will make it much easier to maintain in
> the long term and much easier to extend.
> This technique allows building the compiler in stages from
> running code to running code at every step.
> The new interpreter is much simpler as it just runs the CLOS
> code directly.
> The choice of logic and specification languages are still unclear.
> These will also be created first at the lisp level and then covered
> by the compiler with additional nano-passes.
> Anyway, coding has begun.
> Tim
> [0]  Sarker, Dipanwita and Waddell, Oscar and Kybvig, R. Kent
> "A Nanopass Framework for Compiler Education" (2004)
> On 6/30/19, Tim Daly <address@hidden> wrote:
>> There are thousands of hours of expertise and thousands of
>> functions embedded in Spad code. An important design goal
>> is to ensure that code continues to function. The Sane compiler
>> will output code that runs in the interpreter. It is important that
>> "nothing breaks".
>> That said, the Sane compiler is "layered". The core of the design
>> is that Axiom categories, domains, and packages are represnted
>> as lisp classes and instances. This "core" is essentially what the
>> compiler people call an Abstract Syntax Tree (AST). But in this
>> case it is much more than syntax.
>> Given this "core" there are several tasks.
>> 1) compile spad code to the core. The "front end" should
>> accept and understand current Spad code, unwinding it
>> into the core class structure.
>> 2) compile core classes to Axiom data structures. Thi
>> "back end" generates current Axiom data structures from
>> the core data structures.
>> Now the compiler generates working code yet is in a state
>> to accept enhancements, essentially by extending the core
>> class objects.
>> 3) In the interpreter, modify the getdatabase function to
>> extract data from the core rather than the databases. So
>> the databases go away but the interpreter continues to work.
>> So now the interpreter has been "lifted" onto the core classes
>> but continues to function.
>> 4) enhance the core to support the axioms / specifications /
>> proofs /etc. This involves adding fields to the lisp classes.
>> This core work gives additional fields to hold information.
>> 5) extend the Spad language (Spad 2.0?) to handle the
>> additional axioms / specifications / proofs / etc. This
>> involves adding syntax to the Spad language to support
>> the new fields.
>> 6) build back-end targets to proof systems, spec systems,
>> etc. Compilers like GCC have multiple back ends. The Sane
>> compiler targets the interpreter, a specification checker, a
>> proof system, etc. as separate back ends, all from the same
>> core structures.
>> The Compiler Design
>> A separate but parallel design goal is to build the compiler so
>> it can be type-checked. Each function has typed input and
>> typed output and is, for the most part, purely functional. So,
>> for example, a "Filename" is an instance of a "File" object.
>> A "Line" is an instance of "String". The "FileReader" is
>> FileReader : Filename -> List Line
>> Careful design of the language used to construct hte compiler
>> (as opposed to the Spad language it accepts) makes it easier
>> to type check the compiler itself.
>> By REALLY careful design, the types are build on a layered
>> subset of lisp, like Milawa
>> which is sound all the way down to the metal.
>> It all goes in stages. Build the new core class structure in a
>> strongly typed fashion. Accept the Spad language. Generate
>> Interpreter code. Enhance the core to support proofs / specs.
>> Enhance the language to support proofs / specs. Accept the
>> new language. Generate back ends to target the interpreter
>> and a proof / spec system. Build it all on a sound base so
>> the compiler can be checked.
>> To the initial end user, the Sane version is the same as the
>> current system. But in the long term all of the Axiom code
>> could be called from any Lisp function. The Sane version
>> can also be used as an "Oracle" for proof systems, since
>> the code has been proven correct.
>> This is a huge project but it can be done in small steps.
>> In particular, the goal is to build a "thin thread" all the way
>> through the system to handle only the GCD algorithms.
>> Once that proof happens "the real work begins".
>> Tim
>> On 6/30/19, Martin Baker <address@hidden> wrote:
>>> Tim,
>>> This all seems to be about the lisp layer, obviously thats what
>>> interests you.
>>> It seems to me that if SPAD code is complicated and not aligned to type
>>> theory then, when SPAD is complied to Lisp, the List code will be
>>> complicated and hard to work with. Your previous remarks, about not
>>> seeing the whole elephant, suggest to me that you are drowning in
>>> complexity. Most languages, in their lifetime, acquire some messiness
>>> that needs to be cleared out occasionally.
>>> Don't you think its time for SPAD 2.0 ?
>>> Martin
>>> On 30/06/2019 02:17, Tim Daly wrote:
>>>> One major Sane design decision is the use of CLOS,
>>>> the Common Lisp Object System.
>>>> First, since each CLOS object is a type it is possible to
>>>> create strong types everywhere. This helps with the ultimate
>>>> need to typecheck the compiler and the generated code.
>>>> Second, CLOS is an integral part of common lisp. One of
>>>> the Sane design goals is to make it possible to use Axiom's
>>>> domains in ordinary lisp programs. Since Axiom is nothing
>>>> more than a domain specific language on common lisp it
>>>> makes sense to construct it so users can freely intermix
>>>> polynomials with non-algebraic code.
>>>> Third, CLOS is designed for large program development,
>>>> hiding most of the implementation details and exposing
>>>> a well-defined API. This will make future maintenance and
>>>> documentation of Axiom easier, contributing to its longer
>>>> intended life.
>>>> So for a traditional Axiom user nothing seems to have
>>>> changed. But for future users it will be easy to compute
>>>> an integral in the middle of regular programs.
>>>> Tim
>>>> On 6/27/19, Tim Daly <address@hidden> wrote:
>>>>> Another thought....
>>>>> There has been a "step change" in computer science in the last few
>>>>> years.
>>>>> Guy Steele did a survey of the use of logic notation in conference
>>>>> papers.
>>>>> More than 50% of the papers in some conferences use logic notation
>>>>> (from one of the many logics).
>>>>> CMU teaches their CS courses all based on and requiring the use of
>>>>> logic and the associated notation. My college mathematics covered
>>>>> the use of truth tables. The graduate course covered the use of
>>>>> Karnaugh maps.
>>>>> Reading current papers, I have found several papers with multiple
>>>>> pages containing nothing but "judgements", pages of greek notation.
>>>>> If you think Axiom's learning curve is steep, you should look at
>>>>> Homotopy Type Theory (HoTT).
>>>>> I taught a compiler course at Vassar in the previous century but
>>>>> the Dragon book didn't cover CIC in any detail and I would not
>>>>> have understood it if it did.
>>>>> The original Axiom software predates most of the published logic
>>>>> papers, at least as they applied to software. Haskell Curry wrote
>>>>> from the logic side in 1934 and William Howard published in 1969
>>>>> but I only heard of the Curry-Howard correspondence in 1998.
>>>>> Writing a compiler these days requires the use of this approach.
>>>>> In all, that's a good thing as it makes it clear how to handle types
>>>>> and how to construct software that is marginally more correct.
>>>>> The new Sane compiler is building on these logic foundations,
>>>>> based on the Calculus of Inductive Construction and Dependent
>>>>> Type theory. The compiler itself is strongly typed as is the
>>>>> language it supports.
>>>>> Since dependent types are not decidable there will always be
>>>>> heuristics at runtime to try to disambiguate types, only now we
>>>>> will have to write the code in greek :-)
>>>>> Tim

Axiom-developer mailing list

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]