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An Overview of the FLINT/ML Compiler

Last modified: Tue Mar 14 19:35:12 2000 GMT.

Authors

Zhong Shao

Abstract

The FLINT project at Yale aims to build a state-of-the-art systems environment for modern typesafe languages. One important component of the FLINT system is a high-performance type-directed compiler for SML'97 (extended with higher-order modules). The FLINT/ML compiler provides several new capabilities that are not available in other type-based compilers:

  • type-directed compilation is carried over across the higher-order module boundaries;
  • recursive and mutable data objects can use unboxed representations without incurring expensive runtime cost on heavily polymorphic code;
  • parameterized modules (functors) can be selectively specialized, just as normal polymorphic functions;
  • new type representations are used to reduce the cost of type manipulation thus the compilation time.
This paper gives an overview of these novel aspects, and a preliminary report on the current status of the implementation.

Published

In Proc. 1997 ACM SIGPLAN Workshop on Types in Compilation (TIC'97). Amsterdam, The Netherlands, June 1997.

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