The BigBang project aims to create a typed programming language with the feel and convenience of modern scripting languages. Projects such as DRuby and Typed Racket retrofit type systems onto existing scripting languages; unfortunately, these projects are burdened by backwards compatibility, as dynamic scripting languages are developed without regard to the static typeability of the features they include. BigBang re-examines the design of scripting-style languages from a static typing perspective. In particular, we prioritize:
- No explicit typing: One primary appeal of scripting languages is that programmers need not explicitly specify types, even at module or function bondaries.
- Global type inference: The type system should not be brittle to refactorings such as method extraction.
- Performance: Using static type information, we contend that it will be possible to compile BigBang scripts to much more efficient programs than with scripting languages such as Python or Ruby.
- Path sensitivity: Scripting programmers often use path-sensitive reasoning when confirming that a program is sound; the BigBang type system does as well.
- No arbitrary cutoffs: Polymorphism in BigBang does not rely on fixed cutoffs or scoping limitations; this ensures that the programmer will not be surprised by arbitrary compiler decisions.
The BigBang project is still in a fledgling state. For questions or comments, please contact big-bang @ jhu.edu.
- Pottayil Harisanker Menon, Zachary Palmer, Alexander Rozenshteyn, Scott Smith. Types for Flexible Objects, Asian Symposium on Programming Languages and Systems. Singapore, November 2014. Previous drafts: (May 2013) (January 2014) (March 2014)
- Pottayil Harisanker Menon, Zachary Palmer, Alexander Rozenshteyn, Scott Smith. PatBang: Flexible type-safe pattern matching, technical report. Last updated September 2013.
- Pottayil Harisanker Menon, Zachary Palmer, Alexander Rozenshteyn, Scott Smith. A Practical, Typed Variant Object Model, Foundations of Object-Oriented Languages. Tucson, AZ, USA, October 2012. Slides.
- Pottayil Harisanker Menon, Zachary Palmer, Alexander Rozenshteyn, Scott Smith. Big Bang: Designing a Statically-Typed Scripting Language, International Workshop on Scripts to Programs. Beijing, China, June 2012. Slides.