Journal of Functional Programming

Research Article

An incremental, exploratory and transformational environment for lazy functional programming

Colin Runcimana1, Ian Toyna1 and Mike Firtha1

a1 Department of Computer Science, University of York, Heslington, York YO1 5DD, UK

Abstract

Most programming environments for functional languages offer a single tool used to evaluate programs – either a batch compiler or an interpreter with a read-eval-print loop. This paper presents a programming environment that supports not only evaluation, but also a range of other programming activities including transformation. The environment is designed to encourage working in an incremental and exploratory style, avoiding constraints on the order in which things must be done yet guarenteeing security. What has already been done towards the development of a program automatically persists, as does information about what has yet to be done. For instance, new laws can be introduced as conjectures and used in program transformation, but full details of proof obligations and dependencies are maintained.

The paper outlines the functional language supported by the environment, and uses an extended example to illustrate program construction, execution, tracing, modification and transformation.