[TYPES] Request for Comments: Typing Functional Stack-Based Language

Christopher Diggins cdiggins at gmail.com
Sun Mar 18 18:20:45 EDT 2007

I'm writing to request comments on a technical report I've written
called: Typing Functional Stack-Based Languages.


Stack-based languages have been in continuous use for approximately
four decades, and are still very popular today as intermediate
languages. Many of the most well-known stack-based languages (e.g.
Forth, Postscript, CIL, JVML) lack support for functional programming
at the primitive instruction level. Some notable exceptions are the
Joy programming language by Manfred von Thun and the Factor
programming language by Slava Pestov. There has also been a recent
proposal to add lambda expressions to Forth by Lynas and Stoddart.

While functional stack-based languages are gaining popularity, none of
these have a static type system. This paper addresses this gap by
formally expressing the operational semantics and type system for Cat,
a small functional stack-based language.

The rest of the article is available online at

Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again to everyone who responded so generously to my previous
request for comments. I've incorporated many of the suggestions into
the new paper.

- Christopher Diggins

More information about the Types-list mailing list