Journal of Functional Programming

Articles

Fortifying macros

RYAN CULPEPPERa1*

a1 School of Computing, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA (e-mail: ryanc@ccs.neu.edu)

Abstract

Existing macro systems force programmers to make a choice between clarity of specification and robustness. If they choose clarity, they must forgo validating significant parts of the specification and thus produce low-quality language extensions. If they choose robustness, they must write in a style that mingles the implementation with the specification and therefore obscures the latter. This paper introduces a new language for writing macros. With the new macro system, programmers naturally write robust language extensions using easy-to-understand specifications. The system translates these specifications into validators that detect misuses—including violations of context-sensitive constraints—and automatically synthesize appropriate feedback, eliminating the need for ad hoc validation code.

Footnotes

* Part of this research was conducted while the author was a PhD student at Northeastern University.