Friday, June 12, 2015

Log 061215

Right. Of course, I am going to implement module inclusion in the right manner but I shot myself a bit in the foot choosing namespaces as the guiding principle instead of files. Most compilers (Python, Java, Haskell) treat files as a, or the, guiding principle for grouping declarations. This greatly simplifies a compiler but I chose namespaces, decoupling the file from declarations, because I noticed I personally like it more to group functions which implement a certain functionality in a single file.

Thing is: You can't really decouple in that manner, import directives (inclusion of files) are necessary due to performance reasons and any import directive manipulates scope. So, I now have two directives manipulating the scope of declarations of a file, or module. The import directive and the using directive. I ended up doubling the work. Moreover, the scoping rules I have imply implementing a module system is now a non-trivial exercise and data-structures need to reflect the 'double nature' of scoping.

The other problem now is mutually dependent modules. If module m0 imports module m1, and m1 imports m0, I cannot have a simple identification phase since m1 needs to be identified before it can process m0 and vice-versa. This wasn't a problem in the batch compiler because that treated all included declarations as a flat list.

Going from batch compiler to an interpreter now also implies the identification phase needs to be split such that declarations can be gathered "halfway"; i.e., after syntactic transforms but before any kind of semantic analysis.

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