In the functional programming world, we rely on languages with type systems that help us write, extend and maintain our software. These type systems, such as the one in Haskell, are based on solid type theory. While we usually and easily see the benefits of having a static type system on simple types such as integers, we might fail to see the benefits of applying the same principles to user-defined data types. Continue reading
On Tuesday, March 26, I’ll be giving a talk on propositions as types to the Lambda Zagreb Meetup group. The talk will be in Croatian and it is titled ¬ sve za ∀ (no ∃ uvod u propozicije kao tipove), which can be translated as ¬ everything is for ∀ (but there ∃ an introduction to propositions as types). Obviously, I incorporated logic operators into the title with the goal to make it catchy and to attract more audience with an unusual title. Given that only about 10 people RSVPed so far and that there are only three days left until the talk, it looks like I’ve achieved quite the opposite!
In February I was at the Lambda Days 2019 conference to give a talk “Function Totality: Abstraction Tool in Programming” and a workshop “Introduction to Dependent Types”. The talk had examples in Haskell and Idris while the workshop was in Agda. Both the talk and the workshop went quite well and I received nice comments for both. I was fortunate to have David Turner and John Hughes at my talk and to have a discussion with them around the topic.
To me as a programmer, to write mathematical proofs that are mechanically checked by a computer feels empowering. To have these proofs as executable programs feels even more empowering. Therefore, our proofs have a computational aspect and vice-versa: our programs have a logical aspect. To be able to get an instant feedback while proving a theorem is amazing. With Agda, a dependently typed functional programming language, one can interactively write a proof by getting guidance from Agda as to what is left to prove. Furthermore, Agda checks the correctness of proofs by following a set of rules. Unlike with pen and paper proofs, proofs in Agda are much more rigorous because there is no room for hand-waving nor unwarranted claims for something to be trivial. An uninformed mathematician will likely find this comparison to Agda hard to believe.
Earlier this week I got a Lego Mindstorms EV3 robotics kit. I was aware there is a Haskell binding, but I didn’t know it is compatible only with the earlier NXT generation of the Mindstorms line, at least according to the Wikipedia page on EV3. I’m hoping to find out today if the NXT Haskell library can nevertheless be used with the EV3. If not, I’m likely to start writing a Haskell library for EV3.
As announced last week, yesterday I gave a talk on function totality at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Croatian Section. The talk was located at the University of Zagreb at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing. Slides used during the talk are freely available. The talk was in Croatian.
Edsger Dijkstra said the following of abstraction:
“The purpose of abstraction is not to be vague, but to create a new semantic level in which one can be absolutely precise.”
Abstraction is a cornerstone of programming a complex software system. Without it, a complex software system is a complicated software system. In this article I will explore an important tool in achieving abstraction in programming: function totality.
Software testing has been an important, if not prevalent way of checking software correctness. In this article I will tell how have my doctoral dissertation on testing and verification of imperative software as well as my work experience after the studies led me to typed functional programming, which consequently gave me a different perspective on automatic software testing. Furthermore, I’ll explain why functional programming and static type systems are important for software correctness.