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2023-08-01: Fuzion August Update

Here is this month's update:

Exciting improvements of type inference, visibility of features and interaction with C code:

  • Fuzion language
    • In preparation of enforcing visibility, many things relating to visibility have been improved or changed: #1690, #1691, #1695, #1714, #1731, #1734, #1736, #1744.

    • Type inference for arguments from actuals in a call: #1722. In a declaration like

          point(x, y i32) is

      The argument type i32 can be omitted if there are calls to that feature:

          point(x, y) is
          p1 := point 3 4
          p2 := point 5 12

    • Support for free types #1774 to simplify declarations using type parameters. It is now possible to write

          first (s Sequence T) => s.nth 0

      instead of

          first (T type, s Sequence T) => s.nth 0

      Free types can be anonymous using _:

          first (s Sequence _) => s.nth 0

      one can also use constraints as in

          add_to_all (s array N:numeric, v N) => s.map x->x+v
          say (add_to_all [1, 2, 3] 10)

      or complex type expressions like

          g(v A | (B : numeric)) => ...

    • Explicit ref types have been removed: #1705. If a ref type variant is required, one must now declare a ref feature and inherit from this.

    • The type of an outer instance a is now just a.this, it used to be a.this.type: #1706. This is consistent with, e.g., nil being --depending on context-- either a type or a call resulting in a value.

    • The set keyword to assign a new value to a field is no longer permitted: #1720.

      As an alternative, use the mutate effect in your code.

  • front end
    • Improve support for lazy values: #1667, #1672.

    • Fix a bug which caused unjustified errors when chained booleans were used in postconditions: #1685.

    • The parser and frontend now keep more accurate position information for names, in particular in feature declarations: #1735.

      This improves confusing error messages when multiple feature names are given in a declaration. Furthermore, source ranges are now supported such that the entire name is now marked in error messages.

    • Improve some error messages: #1693, #1753.

  • back end
    • Add intrinsics to get a network socket's peer's address and port information: #1712.

      This is useful when writing server applications using Fuzion, for example to implement IP based access control.

  • C back end
    • If the environment variable FUZION_DEBUG_TAIL_CALL is set to true, fz will print debug information about tail call optimization: #1687.

    • In the intrinsics for atomic values, use atomic compare and swap operations when possible, instead of emulating this using a global lock: #1689.

    • C FFI: native features have been implemented, which in the C backend, allow C functions to be called: #1772.

      To work with this, the C functions need to be reasonable simple, that is their arguments and return value must be integers, floating point numbers, or Strings. Additionally, Fuzion will not automatically take care of including the right headers and passing the proper arguments to the compiler and linker.

      native features are not supported in the interpreter.

  • base library
    • The features equatable, orderable, partially_orderable have been renamed and moved into the grouping feature property: #1466.

    • The CTrie data structure now uses atomic compare and swap operations, in an attempt at making it actually thread-safe and lock-free: #1598. There are however still remaining issues related to taking snapshots in a multi-threaded environment.

    • Fuzion now supports IEEE floating point comparisons: #1644. In particular, comparing against NaN always results in false. IEEE semantics for floating point comparison are used for infix operations = or <=, etc.

      In contrast, type.equality and type.lteq for floats define an equality relation and a total order in a mathematical sense. These will be used in type parametric code requiring equatable or orderable and they can be used directly via equals f64 a b or lteq f64 a b defined in the base library.

    • Add a join operation to the concur.threads effect: #1651.

      This allows waiting for the end of threads in another thread.

    • Parameterize the try effect #1696.

      This makes it possible to use multiple different instances of the try effect at the same time.

    • plus, minus, sign moved from the universe to the num hierarchy: #1702.

    • wrapping_integer is now num.wrap_around: #1719.

    • Rename effect handlers in a consistent manner: #1729.

    • Move some features to the type features of ps_map: #1756.

    • Use the Ryū algorithm, which is implemented in pure Fuzion, to convert floating point numbers to strings: #1758.

    • Fix issues which caused the fuzion.sys.misc.unique_id intrinsic (used by the mutate effect) and say to not be thread-safe: #1762, #1764.


--The Fuzion Team.