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The BRISK Project

The Brisk project is concerned with increasing the expressive power of functional languages so that they can be used to implement complex and reactive `systems' programs more easily. Our current aim is to develop a Haskell compiler which provides a deterministic form of concurrency, a modular approach to linking Haskell with C, dynamic linking and some other features which increase expressiveness without losing any of the mathematical purity of the language. The Brisk compiler is nearing its first serious release. We then want to investigate its applications; we have designs, and in some cases prototypes, for an X window interface, a development environment, a process manager, and a distributed programming environment.

A second strand of research is to improve support for program debugging and proof. One problem is to work out how to make best use of the purely declarative nature of functional languages. A style of logic needs to be developed which takes

maximum advantage of the potential simplicity of using denotational semantics alone, without resorting to operational semantics, and which provides support for purely declarative debugging and proof. This logic then needs to be packaged in a practical system which is attractive to working programmers. The Brisk compiler may also provide a platform on which to base this research.

More detailed information is available on http://www.cs.bris.ac.uk/~ian/Functional/.

Staff and Students

Ian Holyer and Neil Davies.
Alastair Penney, Eleni Spiliopoulou, and Huseyin Pehlivan.

Publications