The Design and Implementation of Typed Scheme
Tobin-Hochstadt, Felleisen. The Design and Implementation of Typed Scheme. POPL 2008.
When scripts in untyped languages grow into large programs, maintaining them becomes difficult. A lack of types in typical script ing languages means that programmers must (re)discover critical piecs of design information every time they wish to change a program. This analysis step both slows down the maintenance process and may even introduce mistakes due to the violation of undiscovered invariants. This paper presents Typed Scheme, an explicitly typed extension of an untyped scripting language. Its type system is based on the novel notion of occurrence typing, which we formalize and mechanically prove sound. The implementation of Typed Scheme additionally borrows elements from a range of approaches, including recursive types, true unions and subtyping, plus polymorphism combined with a modicum of local inference. Initial experiments with the implementation suggest that Typed Scheme naturally accommodates the programming style of the underlying scripting language, at least for the first few thousand lines of ported code.
The key feature of occurrence typing is the ability of the type system to assign distinct types to distinct occurrences of a variable based on control flow criteria. You can think of it as a generalization of the way pattern matching on algebraic datatypes works.
Go to sections 4.4 and 7 to whet your appetite...
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