First-Class Nonstandard Interpretations by Opening Closures
Siskind , Jeffrey Mark and Pearlmutter, Barak A. (2007) First-Class Nonstandard Interpretations by Opening Closures. Proceedings of the 34th annual ACM SIGPLAN-SIGACT symposium on Principles of programming languages . pp. 71-76.
We motivate and discuss a novel functional programming construct that allows convenient modular run-time nonstandard interpretation via reflection on closure environments. This map-closure construct encompasses both the ability to examine the contents of a closure environment and to construct a new closure with a modified environment. From the user’s perspective, map-closure is a powerful and useful construct that supports such tasks as tracing, security logging, sandboxing, error checking, profiling, code instrumentation and metering, run-time code patching, and resource monitoring. From the implementor’s perspective, map-closure is analogous to call/cc. Just as call/cc is a non-referentiallytransparent mechanism that reifies the continuations that are only implicit in programs written in direct style, map-closure is a nonreferentially- transparent mechanism that reifies the closure environments that are only implicit in higher-order programs. Just as CPS conversion is a non-local but purely syntactic transformation that can eliminate references to call/cc, closure conversion is a non-local but purely syntactic transformation that can eliminate references to map-closure. We show how the combination of map-closure and call/cc can be used to implement set! as a procedure definition and a local macro transformation.
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