Interleaved 2D Notation for Concatenative Programming


Concatenative languages use implicit argument passing to provide a concise expression of programs comprising many composed transformation functions. However, they are sometimes regarded as “write-only” languages because understanding code requires mentally simulating the manipulations of the argument stack to identify where values are produced and consumed. All of this difficulty can be avoided with a notation that presents both the functions and their operands simultaneously, which can also ease editing by making available values and functions directly apparent. This paper presents a two-dimensional notation for these programs, comprising alternating rows of functions and operands with arguments and return values indicated by physical layout, and a tool for interactive live editing of programs in this notation.


Michael Homer

Published in

ACM SIGPLAN International Workshop on Programming Abstractions and Interactive Notations, Tools, and Environments (PAINT), 2022

The final copy of this publication is available from the publisher.


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Michael Homer — 2024 b5cda112