[TYPES] trace back pattern matching, typecase

Burak Emir Burak.Emir at epfl.ch
Wed Oct 25 12:25:09 EDT 2006

Dear TYPES readers,

I am looking for historic references on typecase, pattern matching.

1) For pattern matching, I have come to think the earliest publication is:
Burstall (1969) Proving properties of programs by structural induction. 
Computer Journal,  12 (1) pp. 41-48

Although ML was developed later, one can often read ML-style pattern 
matching in the literature.

2) For typecase, it is much less clear to me what one could reference as 
first emergence. Modula-3 comes to my mind. It is probably helpful to 
narrow my query to statically typed languages at this point.

Finally I am tempted to think that elimination of sum types also 
qualifies as a simple form of typecase/basic pattern matching. But I 
cannot imagine a precise point where this particular "feature" made it 
into programming practice (other than the forms described above). I'd be 
glad to hear about such a thing.

Thanks for shedding some light on these issues.

Burak Emir

Burak Emir


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