# 3. Language Reference¶

This reference seeks to describe every construct in the Futhark language. It is not presented in a tutorial fashion, but rather intended for quick lookup and documentation of subtleties. For this reason, it is not written in a bottom-up manner, and some concepts may be used before they are fully defined. It is a good idea to have a basic grasp of Futhark (or some other functional programming language) before reading this reference. An ambiguous grammar is given for the full language. The text describes how ambiguities are resolved in practice (for example by applying rules of operator precedence).

This reference describes only the language itself. Documentation for the basis library is available elsewhere.

## 3.1. Identifiers and Keywords¶

id::=`letter`

(`letter`

| "_" | "'")* | "_"`id`

quals::= (`id`

".")+qualid::=`id`

|`quals`

`id`

binop::=`opstartchar`

`opchar`

*qualbinop::=`binop`

|`quals`

`binop`

| "`"`qualid`

"`"fieldid::=`decimal`

|`id`

Many things in Futhark are named. When we are defining something, we give it an unqualified name (id). When referencing something inside a module, we use a qualified name (qualid). The fields of a record are named with fieldid. Note that a fieldid can be a decimal number. Futhark has three distinct name spaces: terms, module types, and types. Modules (including parametric modules) and values both share the term namespace.

## 3.2. Primitive Types and Values¶

literal::=`intnumber`

|`floatnumber`

| "true" | "false"

Boolean literals are written `true`

and `false`

. The primitive
types in Futhark are the signed integer types `i8`

, `i16`

,
`i32`

, `i64`

, the unsigned integer types `u8`

, `u16`

, `u32`

,
`u64`

, the floating-point types `f32`

, `f64`

, as well as
`bool`

. An `f32`

is always a single-precision float and a `f64`

is a double-precision float.

int_type::= "i8" | "i16" | "i32" | "i64" | "u8" | "u16" | "u32" | "u64"float_type::= "f8" | "f16" | "f32" | "f64"

Numeric literals can be suffixed with their intended type. For
example `42i8`

is of type `i8`

, and `1337e2f64`

is of type
`f64`

. If no suffix is given, the type of the literal will be
inferred based on its use. If the use is not constrained, integral
literals will be assigned type `i32`

, and decimal literals type
`f64`

. Hexadecimal literals are supported by prefixing with `0x`

,
and binary literals by prefixing with `0b`

.

Floats can also be written in hexadecimal format such as `0x1.fp3`

,
instead of the usual decimal notation. Here, `0x1.f`

evaluates to
`1 15/16`

and the `p3`

multiplies it by `2^3 = 8`

.

intnumber::= (`decimal`

|`hexadecimal`

|`binary`

) [`int_type`

]decimal::=`decdigit`

(`decdigit`

|"_")*hexadecimal::= 0 ("x" | "X")`hexdigit`

(`hexdigit`

|"_")*binary::= 0 ("b" | "B")`bindigit`

(`bindigit`

| "_")*

floatnumber::= (`pointfloat`

|`exponentfloat`

) [`float_type`

]pointfloat::= [`intpart`

]`fraction`

exponentfloat::= (`intpart`

|`pointfloat`

)`exponent`

hexadecimalfloat::= 0 ("x" | "X")`hexintpart`

`hexfraction`

("p"|"P") ["+" | "-"]`decdigit`

+intpart::=`decdigit`

(`decdigit`

|"_")*fraction::= "."`decdigit`

(`decdigit`

|"_")*hexintpart::=`hexdigit`

(`hexdigit`

| "_")*hexfraction::= "."`hexdigit`

(`hexdigit`

|"_")*exponent::= ("e" | "E") ["+" | "-"]`decdigit`

+

decdigit::= "0"..."9"hexdigit::=`decdigit`

| "a"..."f" | "A"..."F"bindigit::= "0" | "1"

### 3.2.1. Compound Types and Values¶

All primitive values can be combined in tuples and arrays. A tuple
value or type is written as a sequence of comma-separated values or
types enclosed in parentheses. For example, `(0, 1)`

is a tuple
value of type `(i32,i32)`

. The elements of a tuple need not have
the same type – the value `(false, 1, 2.0)`

is of type ```
(bool,
i32, f64)
```

. A tuple element can also be another tuple, as in
`((1,2),(3,4))`

, which is of type `((i32,i32),(i32,i32))`

. A
tuple cannot have just one element, but empty tuples are permitted,
although they are not very useful-these are written `()`

and are of
type `()`

.

type::=`qualid`

|`array_type`

|`tuple_type`

|`record_type`

|`function_type`

|`type`

`type_arg`

| "*"`type`

array_type::= "[" [`dim`

] "]"`type`

tuple_type::= "(" ")" | "("`type`

("[" ","`type`

"]")* ")"record_type::= "{" "}" | "{"`fieldid`

":"`type`

(","`fieldid`

":"`type`

)* "}"function_type::=`param_type`

"->"`type`

param_type::=`type`

| "("`id`

":"`type`

")"type_arg::= "[" [`dim`

] "]" |`type`

dim::=`qualid`

|`decimal`

An array value is written as a sequence of zero or more
comma-separated values enclosed in square brackets: `[1,2,3]`

. An
array type is written as `[d]t`

, where `t`

is the element type of
the array, and `d`

is an integer indicating the size. We typically
elide `d`

, in which case the size will be inferred. As an example,
an array of three integers could be written as `[1,2,3]`

, and has
type `[3]i32`

. An empty array is written as `[]`

, and its type is
inferred from its use. When writing Futhark values for such uses as
`futhark-test`

(but not when writing programs), the syntax
`empty(t)`

can be used to denote an empty array with row type `t`

.

Multi-dimensional arrays are supported in Futhark, but they must be
*regular*, meaning that all inner arrays must have the same shape.
For example, `[[1,2], [3,4], [5,6]]`

is a valid array of type
`[3][2]i32`

, but `[[1,2], [3,4,5], [6,7]]`

is not, because there
we cannot come up with integers `m`

and `n`

such that
`[m][n]i32`

describes the array. The restriction to regular arrays
is rooted in low-level concerns about efficient compilation. However,
we can understand it in language terms by the inability to write a
type with consistent dimension sizes for an irregular array value. In
a Futhark program, all array values, including intermediate (unnamed)
arrays, must be typeable.

Records are mappings from field names to values, with the field names known statically. A tuple behaves in all respects like a record with numeric field names, and vice versa. It is an error for a record type to name the same field twice.

A parametric type abbreviation can be applied by juxtaposing its name and its arguments. The application must provide as many arguments as the type abbreviation has parameters - partial application is presently not allowed. See Type Abbreviations for further details.

Functions are classified via function types, but they are not fully first class. See Higher-order functions for the details.

stringlit::= '"'`stringchar`

'"'stringchar::= <any source character except "\" or newline or quotes>

String literals are supported, but only as syntactic sugar for arrays
of `i32`

values. There is no character type in Futhark.

## 3.3. Declarations¶

A Futhark file or module consists of a sequence of declarations. Each declaration is processed in order, and a declaration can only refer to names bound by preceding declarations.

dec::=`fun_bind`

|`val_bind`

|`type_bind`

|`mod_bind`

|`mod_type_bind`

| "open"`mod_exp`

| "import"`stringlit`

| "local"`dec`

The `open`

declaration brings names defined in another module into
scope (see also Module System). For the meaning of `import`

, see
Referring to Other Files. If a declaration is prefixed with
`local`

, whatever names it defines will *not* be visible outside the
current module. In particular `local open`

is used to bring names
from another module into scope, without making those names available
to users of the module being defined. In most cases, using module
type ascription is a better idea.

### 3.3.1. Declaring Functions and Values¶

fun_bind::= ("let" | "entry") (`id`

| "("`binop`

")")`type_param`

*`pat`

+ [":"`type`

] "="`exp`

| ("let" | "entry")`pat`

`binop`

`pat`

[":"`type`

] "="`exp`

val_bind::= "let"`id`

[":"`type`

] "="`exp`

Functions and values must be defined before they are used. A function declaration must specify the name, parameters, and body of the function:

```
let name params...: rettype = body
```

Hindley-Milner-style type inference is supported. A parameter may be
given a type with the notation `(name: type)`

. Functions may not be
recursive. Optionally, the programmer may put *shape declarations* in
the return type and parameter types; see Shape Declarations. A
function can be *polymorphic* by using type parameters, in the same
way as for Type Abbreviations:

```
let reverse [n] 't (xs: [n]t): [n]t = xs[::-1]
```

Shape and type parameters are not passed explicitly when calling function, but are automatically derived.

### 3.3.2. User-Defined Operators¶

Infix operators are defined much like functions:

```
let (p1: t1) op (p2: t2): rt = ...
```

For example:

```
let (a:i32,b:i32) +^ (c:i32,d:i32) = (a+c, b+d)
```

We can also define operators by enclosing the operator name in parentheses and suffixing the parameters, as an ordinary function:

let (+^) (a:i32,b:i32) (c:i32,d:i32) = (a+c, b+d)

This is necessary when defining a polymorphic operator.

A valid operator name is a non-empty sequence of characters chosen
from the string `"+-*/%=!><&^"`

. The fixity of an operator is
determined by its first characters, which must correspond to a
built-in operator. Thus, `+^`

binds like `+`

, whilst `*^`

binds
like `*`

. The longest such prefix is used to determine fixity, so
`>>=`

binds like `>>`

, not like `>`

.

It is not permitted to define operators with the names `&&`

or
`||`

(although these as prefixes are accepted). This is because a
user-defined version of these operators would not be short-circuiting.
User-defined operators behave exactly like ordinary functions, except
for bbeing infix.

A built-in operator can be shadowed (i.e. a new `+`

can be defined).
This will result in the built-in polymorphic operator becoming
inaccessible, except through the `intrinsics`

module.

An infix operator can also be defined with prefix notation, like an ordinary function, by enclosing it in parentheses:

```
let (+) (x: i32) (y: i32) = x - y
```

This is necessary when defining operators that take type or shape parameters.

### 3.3.3. Entry Points¶

Apart from declaring a function with the keyword `let`

, it can also
be declared with `entry`

. When the Futhark program is compiled any
top-level function declared with `entry`

will be exposed as an entry
point. If the Futhark program has been compiled as a library, these
are the functions that will be exposed. If compiled as an executable,
you can use the `--entry-point`

command line option of the generated
executable to select the entry point you wish to run.

Any top-level function named `main`

will always be considered an
entry point, whether it is declared with `entry`

or not.

### 3.3.4. Value Declarations¶

A named value/constant can be declared as follows:

```
let name: type = definition
```

The definition can be an arbitrary expression, including function calls and other values, although they must be in scope before the value is defined.

### 3.3.5. Shape Declarations¶

Whenever a pattern occurs (in `let`

, `loop`

, and function
parameters), as well as in return types, *shape declarations* may be
used to express invariants about the shapes of arrays
that are accepted or produced by the function. For example:

```
let f [n] (a: [n]i32) (b: [n]i32): [n]i32 =
map (+) a b
```

We use a *shape parameter*, `[n]`

, to explicitly quantify the names
of shapes. The `[n]`

parameter need not be explicitly passed when
calling `f`

. Rather, its value is implicitly deduced from the
arguments passed for the value parameters. Any size parameter must be
used in a value parameter. This is an error:

```
let f [n] (x: i32) = n
```

A shape declaration can also be an integer constant (with no suffix). The dimension names bound can be used as ordinary variables within the scope of the parameters. If a function is called with arguments, or returns a value, that does not fulfill the shape constraints, the program will fail with a runtime error. Likewise, if a pattern with shape declarations is attempted bound to a value that does not fulfill the invariants, the program will fail with a runtime error. For example, this will fail:

```
let x: [3]i32 = iota 2
```

While this will succeed and bind `n`

to `2`

:

```
let [n] x: [n]i32 = iota 2
```

### 3.3.6. Type Abbreviations¶

type_bind::= "type"`id`

`type_param`

* "="`type`

type_param::= "["`id`

"]" | "'"`id`

| "'^"`id`

Type abbreviations function as shorthands for the purpose of
documentation or brevity. After a type binding `type t1 = t2`

, the
name `t1`

can be used as a shorthand for the type `t2`

. Type
abbreviations do not create distinct types: the types `t1`

and
`t2`

are entirely interchangeable.

A type abbreviation can have zero or more parameters. A type
parameter enclosed with square brackets is a *shape parameter*, and
can be used in the definition as an array dimension size, or as a
dimension argument to other type abbreviations. When passing an
argument for a shape parameter, it must be enclosed in square
brackets. Example:

```
type two_intvecs [n] = ([n]i32, [n]i32)
let x: two_intvecs [2] = (iota 2, replicate 2 0)
```

Shape parameters work much like shape declarations for arrays. Like shape declarations, they can be elided via square brackets containing nothing.

A type parameter prefixed with a single quote is a *type parameter*.
It is in scope as a type in the definition of the type abbreviation.
Whenever the type abbreviation is used in a type expression, a type
argument must be passed for the parameter. Type arguments need not be
prefixed with single quotes:

```
type two_vecs [n] 't = ([n]t, [n]t)
type two_intvecs [n] = two_vecs [n] i32
let x: two_vecs [2] i32 = (iota 2, replicate 2 0)
```

A type parameter prefixed with `'^`

is a *lifted type parameter*.
These may be instantiated with types that may be functions. On the
other hand, values of such types are subject to the same restrictions
as function types (cannot be put in an arrays, returned from `if`

,
or used as a `loop`

parameter; see Higher-order functions).

## 3.4. Expressions¶

Expressions are the basic construct of any Futhark program. An
expression has a statically determined *type*, and produces a *value*
at runtime. Futhark is an eager/strict language (“call by value”).

The basic elements of expressions are called *atoms*, for example
literals and variables, but also more complicated forms.

atom::=`literal`

|`qualid`

("."`fieldid`

)* |`stringlit`

| "(" ")" | "("`exp`

")" ("."`fieldid`

)* | "("`exp`

(","`exp`

)* ")" | "{" "}" | "{" field (","`field`

)* "}" |`qualid`

"["`index`

(","`index`

)* "]" | "("`exp`

")" "["`index`

(","`index`

)* "]" |`quals`

"." "("`exp`

")" | "["`exp`

(","`exp`

)* "]" | "["`exp`

[".."`exp`

] "..."`exp`

"]" | "("`qualbinop`

")" | "("`exp`

`qualbinop`

")" | "("`qualbinop`

`exp`

")" | "(" ( "."`field`

)+ ")" | "(" "." "["`index`

(","`index`

)* "]" ")"exp::=`atom`

|`exp`

`qualbinop`

`exp`

|`exp`

`exp`

|`exp`

":"`type`

|`exp`

[ ".."`exp`

] "..."`exp`

|`exp`

[ ".."`exp`

] "..<"`exp`

|`exp`

[ ".."`exp`

] "..>"`exp`

| "if"`exp`

"then"`exp`

"else"`exp`

| "let"`type_param`

*`pat`

"="`exp`

"in"`exp`

| "let"`id`

"["`index`

(","`index`

)* "]" "="`exp`

"in"`exp`

| "let"`id`

`type_param`

*`pat`

+ [":"`type`

] "="`exp`

"in"`exp`

| "(" "\"`type_param`

*`pat`

+ [":"`type`

] "->"`exp`

")" | "loop"`type_param`

*`pat`

[("="`exp`

)]`loopform`

"do"`exp`

| "unsafe"`exp`

| "assert"`atom`

`atom`

|`exp`

"with" "["`index`

(","`index`

)* "]" "="`exp`

|`exp`

"with"`fieldid`

("."`fieldid`

)* "="`exp`

field::=`fieldid`

"="`exp`

|`id`

pat::=`id`

| "_" | "(" ")" | "("`pat`

")" | "("`pat`

(","`pat`

)+ ")" | "{" "}" | "{"`fieldid`

["="`pat`

] [","`fieldid`

["="`pat`

]] "}" |`pat`

":"`type`

loopform::= "for"`id`

"<"`exp`

| "for"`pat`

"in"`exp`

| "while"`exp`

index::=`exp`

[":" [`exp`

]] [":" [`exp`

]] | [`exp`

] ":"`exp`

[":" [`exp`

]] | [`exp`

] [":"`exp`

] ":" [`exp`

]nat_int::=`decdigit`

+

Some of the built-in expression forms have parallel semantics, but it is not guaranteed that the the parallel constructs in Futhark are evaluated in parallel, especially if they are nested in complicated ways. Their purpose is to give the compiler as much freedom and information is possible, in order to enable it to maximise the efficiency of the generated code.

### 3.4.1. Resolving Ambiguities¶

The above grammar contains some ambiguities, which in the concrete implementation is resolved via a combination of lexer and grammar transformations. For ease of understanding, they are presented here in natural text.

An expression

`x.y`

may either be a reference to the name`y`

in the module`x`

, or the field`y`

in the record`x`

. Modules and values occupy the same name space, so this is disambiguated by the type of`x`

.A type ascription (

`exp : type`

) cannot appear as an array index, as it conflicts with the syntax for slicing.In

`f [x]`

, there is am ambiguity between indexing the array`f`

at position`x`

, or calling the function`f`

with the singleton array`x`

. We resolve this the following way:- If there is a space between
`f`

and the opening bracket, it is treated as a function application. - Otherwise, it is an array index operation.

- If there is a space between
An expression

`(-x)`

is parsed as the variable`x`

negated and enclosed in parentheses, rather than an operator section partially applying the infix operator`-`

.The following table describes the precedence and associativity of infix operators. All operators in the same row have the same precedence. The rows are listed in increasing order of precedence. Note that not all operators listed here are used in expressions; nevertheless, they are still used for resolving ambiguities.

**Associativity****Operators**left `,`

left `:`

left `||`

left `&&`

left `<=`

`>=`

`>`

`<`

`==`

`!=`

left `&`

`^`

`|`

left `<<`

`>>`

left `+`

`-`

left `*`

`/`

`%`

`//`

`%%`

left `|>`

right `<|`

right `->`

left juxtaposition

### 3.4.2. Semantics of Simple Expressions¶

#### 3.4.2.1. literal¶

Evaluates to itself.

#### 3.4.2.2. qualid¶

A variable name; evaluates to its value in the current environment.

#### 3.4.2.3. stringlit¶

Evaluates to an array of type `[]i32`

that contains the code points
of the characters as integers.

#### 3.4.2.4. `()`

¶

Evaluates to an empty tuple.

#### 3.4.2.5. `( e )`

¶

Evaluates to the result of `e`

.

#### 3.4.2.6. `(e1, e2, ..., eN)`

¶

Evaluates to a tuple containing `N`

values. Equivalent to the
record literal `{1=e1, 2=e2, ..., N=eN}`

.

#### 3.4.2.7. `{f1, f2, ..., fN}`

¶

A record expression consists of a comma-separated sequence of *field
expressions*. Each field expression defines the value of a field in
the record. A field expression can take one of two forms:

`f = e`

: defines a field with the name`f`

and the value resulting from evaluating`e`

.

`f`

: defines a field with the name`f`

and the value of the variable`f`

in scope.

Each field may only be defined once.

#### 3.4.2.8. `a[i]`

¶

Return the element at the given position in the array. The index may be a comma-separated list of indexes instead of just a single index. If the number of indices given is less than the rank of the array, an array is returned.

The array `a`

must be a variable name or a parenthesized expression.
Futhermore, there *may not* be a space between `a`

and the opening
bracket. This disambiguates the array indexing `a[i]`

, from ```
a
[i]
```

, which is a function call with a literal array.

#### 3.4.2.9. `a[i:j:s]`

¶

Return a slice of the array `a`

from index `i`

to `j`

, the
former inclusive and the latter exclusive, taking every `s`

-th
element. The `s`

parameter may not be zero. If `s`

is negative,
it means to start at `i`

and descend by steps of size `s`

to `j`

(not inclusive).

It is generally a bad idea for `s`

to be non-constant.
Slicing of multiple dimensions can be done by separating with commas,
and may be intermixed freely with indexing.

If `s`

is elided it defaults to `1`

. If `i`

or `j`

is elided, their
value depends on the sign of `s`

. If `s`

is positive, `i`

become `0`

and `j`

become the length of the array. If `s`

is negative, `i`

becomes
the length of the array minus one, and `j`

becomes minus one. This means that
`a[::-1]`

is the reverse of the array `a`

.

#### 3.4.2.10. `[x, y, z]`

¶

Create an array containing the indicated elements. Each element must have the same type and shape.

#### 3.4.2.11. `x..y...z`

¶

Construct an integer array whose first element is `x`

and which
proceeds stride of `y-x`

until reaching `z`

(inclusive). The
`..y`

part can be elided in which case a stride of 1 is used. The
stride may not be zero. An empty array is returned in cases where
`z`

would never be reached or `x`

and `y`

are the same value.

#### 3.4.2.12. `x..y..<z`

¶

Construct an integer array whose first elements is `x`

, and which
proceeds upwards with a stride of `y`

until reaching `z`

(exclusive). The `..y`

part can be elided in which case a stride of
1 is used. An empty array is returned in cases where `z`

would
never be reached or `x`

and `y`

are the same value.

#### 3.4.2.13. `x..y..>z`

¶

Construct an integer array whose first elements is `x`

, and which
proceeds downwards with a stride of `y`

until reaching `z`

(exclusive). The `..y`

part can be elided in which case a stride of
-1 is used. An empty array is returned in cases where `z`

would
never be reached or `x`

and `y`

are the same value.

#### 3.4.2.14. `e.f`

¶

Access field `f`

of the expression `e`

, which must be a record or
tuple.

#### 3.4.2.15. `m.(e)`

¶

Evaluate the expression `e`

with the module `m`

locally opened, as
if by `open`

. This can make some expressions easier to read and
write, without polluting the global scope with a declaration-level
`open`

.

#### 3.4.2.16. `x`

*binop* `y`

¶

Apply an operator to `x`

and `y`

. Operators are functions like
any other, and can be user-defined. Futhark pre-defines certain
“magical” *overloaded* operators that work on many different types.
Overloaded functions cannot be defined by the user. Both operands
must have the same type. The predefined operators and their semantics
are:

`**`

Power operator, defined for all numeric types.

`//`

,`%%`

Division and remainder on integers, with rounding towards zero.

`*`

,`/`

,`%`

,`+`

,`-`

The usual arithmetic operators, defined for all numeric types. Note that`/`

and`%`

rounds towards negative infinity when used on integers - this is different from in C.

`^`

,`&`

,`|`

,`>>`

,`<<`

Bitwise operators, respectively bitwise xor, and, or, arithmetic shift right and left, and logical shift right. Shift amounts must be non-negative and the operands must be integers. Note that, unlike in C, bitwise operators havehigherpriority than arithmetic operators. This means that`x & y == z`

is understood as`(x & y) == z`

, rather than`x & (y == z)`

as it would in C. Note that the latter is a type error in Futhark anyhow.

`==`

,`!=`

Compare any two values of builtin or compound type for equality.

`<`

,`<=`

.`>`

,`>=`

Company any two values of numeric type for equality.

#### 3.4.2.17. `x && y`

¶

Short-circuiting logical conjunction; both operands must be of type
`bool`

.

#### 3.4.2.18. `x || y`

¶

Short-circuiting logical disjunction; both operands must be of type
`bool`

.

#### 3.4.2.19. `f x`

¶

Apply the function `f`

to the argument `x`

.

#### 3.4.2.20. `e : t`

¶

Annotate that `e`

is expected to be of type `t`

, failing with a
type error if it is not. If `t`

is an array with shape
declarations, the correctness of the shape declarations is checked at
run-time.

Due to ambiguities, this syntactic form cannot appear as an array
index expression unless it is first enclosed in parentheses. However,
as an array index must always be of type `i32`

, there is never a
reason to put an explicit type ascription there.

#### 3.4.2.21. `! x`

¶

Logical negation of `x`

, which must be of type `bool`

.

#### 3.4.2.22. `- x`

¶

Numerical negation of `x`

, which must be of numeric type.

#### 3.4.2.23. `~ x`

¶

Bitwise negation of `x`

, which must be of integral type.

#### 3.4.2.24. `unsafe e`

¶

Elide safety checks and assertions (such as bounds checking) that
occur during execution of `e`

. This is useful if the compiler is
otherwise unable to avoid bounds checks (e.g. when using indirect
indexes), but you really do not want them there. Make very sure that
the code is correct; eliding such checks can lead to memory
corruption.

#### 3.4.2.25. `assert cond e`

¶

Terminate execution with an error if `cond`

evaluates to false,
otherwise produce the result of evaluating `e`

. Unless `e`

produces a value that is used subsequently (it can just be a
variable), dead code elimination may remove the assertion.

#### 3.4.2.26. `a with [i] = e`

¶

Return `a`

, but with the element at position `i`

changed to
contain the result of evaluating `e`

. Consumes `a`

.

#### 3.4.2.27. `r with f = e`

¶

Return the record `r`

, but with field f changed to have value e.
The type of the field must remain unchanged.

#### 3.4.2.28. `if c then a else b`

¶

If `c`

evaluates to `true`

, evaluate `a`

, else evaluate `b`

.

### 3.4.3. Binding Expressions¶

#### 3.4.3.1. `let pat = e in body`

¶

Evaluate `e`

and bind the result to the pattern `pat`

while
evaluating `body`

. The `in`

keyword is optional if `body`

is a
`let`

expression. See also Shape Declarations.

#### 3.4.3.2. `let a[i] = v in body`

¶

Write `v`

to `a[i]`

and evaluate `body`

. The given index need
not be complete and can also be a slice, but in these cases, the value
of `v`

must be an array of the proper size. This notation is
Syntactic sugar for `let a = a with [i] = v in a`

.

#### 3.4.3.3. `let f params... = e in body`

¶

Bind `f`

to a function with the given parameters and definition
(`e`

) and evaluate `body`

. The function will be treated as
aliasing any free variables in `e`

. The function is not in scope of
itself, and hence cannot be recursive. See also Shape
Declarations.

#### 3.4.3.4. `loop pat = initial for x in a do loopbody`

¶

- Bind
`pat`

to the initial values given in`initial`

. - For each element
`x`

in`a`

, evaluate`loopbody`

and rebind`pat`

to the result of the evaluation. - Return the final value of
`pat`

.

The `= initial`

can be left out, in which case initial values for
the pattern are taken from equivalently named variables in the
environment. I.e., `loop (x) = ...`

is equivalent to ```
loop (x = x)
= ...
```

.

See also Shape Declarations.

#### 3.4.3.5. `loop pat = initial for x < n do loopbody`

¶

Equivalent to `loop (pat = initial) for x in [0..1..<n] do loopbody`

.

#### 3.4.3.6. `loop pat = initial = while cond do loopbody`

¶

- Bind
`pat`

to the initial values given in`initial`

. - If
`cond`

evaluates to true, bind`pat`

to the result of evaluating`loopbody`

, and repeat the step. - Return the final value of
`pat`

.

See also Shape Declarations.

### 3.4.4. Function Expressions¶

#### 3.4.4.1. `\x y z: t -> e`

¶

Produces an anonymous function taking parameters `x`

, `y`

, and
`z`

, returns type `t`

, and whose body is `e`

.

#### 3.4.4.2. `(binop)`

¶

An *operator section* that is equivalent to `\x y -> x *binop* y`

.

#### 3.4.4.3. `(x binop)`

¶

An *operator section* that is equivalent to `\y -> x *binop* y`

.

#### 3.4.4.4. `(binop y)`

¶

An *operator section* that is equivalent to `\x -> x *binop* y`

.

#### 3.4.4.5. `(.a.b.c)`

¶

An *operator section* that is equivalent to `\x -> x.a.b.c`

.

#### 3.4.4.6. `(.[i,j])`

¶

An *operator section* that is equivalent to `\x -> x[i,j]`

.

## 3.5. Higher-order functions¶

At a high level, Futhark functions are values, and can be used as any
other value. However, to ensure that the compiler is able to compile
the higher-order functions efficiently via *defunctionalisation*,
certain type-driven restrictions exist on how functions can be used.
These also apply to any record or tuple containing a function (a
*functional type*):.

- Arrays of functions are not permitted.
- A function cannot be returned from an if expression.
- A loop parameter cannot be a function.

Further, *type parameters* are divided into *non-lifted* (bound with
an apostrophe, e.g. `'t`

), and *lifted* (`'^t`

). Only lifted type
parameters may be instantiated with a functional type. Within a
function, a lifted type parameter is treated as a functional type.
All abstract types declared in modules (see Module System) are
considered non-lifted, and may not be functional.

See also In-place updates for details on how uniqueness types interact with higher-order functions.

## 3.6. Type Inference¶

Futhark supports Hindley-Milner-style type inference, so in many cases explicit type annotations can be left off. Record field projection cannot in isolation be fully inferred, and may need type annotations where their inputs are bound. Further, unique types (see In-place updates) must be explicitly annotated.

## 3.7. In-place updates¶

In-place updates do not provide observable side effects, but they do provide a way to efficiently update an array in-place, with the guarantee that the cost is proportional to the size of the value(s) being written, not the size of the full array.

The `a with [i] = v`

language construct, and derived forms,
performs an in-place update. The compiler verifies that the original
array (`a`

) is not used on any execution path following the in-place
update. This involves also checking that no *alias* of `a`

is used.
Generally, most language constructs produce new arrays, but some
(slicing) create arrays that alias their input arrays.

When defining a function parameter or return type, we can mark it as
*unique* by prefixing it with an asterisk. For example:

```
let modify (a: *[]i32) (i: i32) (x: i32): *[]i32 =
a with [i] = a[i] + x
```

For bulk in-place updates with multiple values, use the `scatter`

function in the basis library. In the parameter declaration ```
a:
*[i32]
```

, the asterisk means that the function `modify`

has been
given “ownership” of the array `a`

, meaning that any caller of
`modify`

will never reference array `a`

after the call again.
This allows the `with`

expression to perform an in-place update.

After a call `modify a i x`

, neither `a`

or any variable that
*aliases* `a`

may be used on any following execution path.

Uniqueness typing generally interacts poorly with higher-order functions. The issue is that we cannot control how many times a function argument is applied, or to what, so it is not safe to pass a function that consumes its argument. The following two conservative rules govern the interaction between uniqueness types and higher-order functions:

- In the expression
`let p = e1 in ...`

, if*any*in-place update takes place in the expression`e1`

, the value bound by`p`

must not be or contain a function. - A function that consumes one of its arguments may not be passed as a higher-order argument to another function.

## 3.8. Module System¶

mod_bind::= "module"`id`

`mod_param`

* "=" [":" mod_type_exp] "="`mod_exp`

mod_param::= "("`id`

":"`mod_type_exp`

")"mod_type_bind::= "module" "type"`id`

`type_param`

* "="`mod_type_exp`

Futhark supports an ML-style higher-order module system. *Modules*
can contain types, functions, and other modules and module types.
*Module types* are used to classify the contents of modules, and
*parametric modules* are used to abstract over modules (essentially
module-level functions). In Standard ML, modules, module types and
parametric modules are called structs, signatures, and functors,
respectively. Module names exist in the same name space as values,
but module types are their own name space.

Named modules are declared as:

```
module name = module expression
```

A named module type is defined as:

```
module type name = module type expression
```

Where a module expression can be the name of another module, an application of a parametric module, or a sequence of declarations enclosed in curly braces:

```
module Vec3 = {
type t = ( f32 , f32 , f32 )
let add(a: t) (b: t): t =
let (a1, a2, a3) = a in
let (b1, b2, b3) = b in
(a1 + b1, a2 + b2 , a3 + b3)
}
module AlsoVec3 = Vec3
```

Functions and types within modules can be accessed using dot notation:

```
type vector = Vec3.t
let double(v: vector): vector = Vec3.add v v
```

We can also use `open Vec3`

to bring the names defined by `Vec3`

into the current scope. Multiple modules can be opened simultaneously
by separating their names with spaces. In case several modules define
the same names, the ones mentioned last take precedence. The first
argument to `open`

may be a full module expression.

Named module types are defined as:

```
module type ModuleTypeName = module type expression
```

A module type expression can be the name of another module type, or a
sequence of *specifications*, or *specs*, enclosed in curly braces. A
spec can be a *value spec*, indicating the presence of a function or
value, an *abstract type spec*, or a *type abbreviation spec*. For
example:

```
module type Addable = {
type t -- abstract type spec
type two_ts = (t,t) -- type abbreviation spec
val add: t -> t -> t -- value spec
}
```

This module type specifies the presence of an *abstract type* `t`

,
as well as a function operating on values of type `t`

. We can use
*module type ascription* to restrict a module to what is exposed by
some module type:

```
module AbstractVec = Vec3 : Addable
```

The definition of `AbstractVec.t`

is now hidden. In fact, with this
module type, we can neither construct values of type `AbstractVec.T`

or convert them to anything else, making this a rather useless use of
abstraction. As a derived form, we can write `module M: S = e`

to
mean `module M = e : S`

.

Parametric modules allow us to write definitions that abstract over modules. For example:

```
module Times = \(M: Addable) -> {
let times (x: M.t) (k: int): M.t =
loop (x' = x) for i < k do
T.add x' x
}
```

We can instantiate `Times`

with any module that fulfills the module
type `Addable`

and get back a module that defines a function
`times`

:

```
module Vec3Times = Times Vec3
```

Now `Vec3Times.times`

is a function of type ```
Vec3.t -> int ->
Vec3.t
```

. As a derived form, we can write `module M p = e`

to mean
`module M = \p -> e`

.

### 3.8.1. Module Expressions¶

mod_exp::=`qualid`

|`mod_exp`

":"`mod_type_exp`

| "\" "("`id`

":"`mod_type_exp`

")" [":"`mod_type_exp`

] "->"`mod_exp`

|`mod_exp`

`mod_exp`

| "("`mod_exp`

")" | "{"`dec`

* "}" | "import"`stringlit`

A module expression produces a module. Modules are collections of bindings produced by declarations (dec). In particular, a module may contain other modules or module types.

#### 3.8.1.1. `qualid`

¶

Evaluates to the module of the given name.

#### 3.8.1.2. `(mod_exp)`

¶

Evaluates to `mod_exp`

.

#### 3.8.1.3. `mod_exp : mod_type_exp`

¶

*Module ascription* evaluates the module expression and the module
type expression, verifies that the module implements the module type,
then returns a module that exposes only the functionality described by
the module type. This is how internal details of a module can be
hidden.

#### 3.8.1.4. `\(p: mt1): mt2 -> e`

¶

Constructs a *parametric module* (a function at the module level) that
accepts a parameter of module type `mt1`

and returns a module of
type `mt2`

. The latter is optional, but the parameter type is not.

#### 3.8.1.5. `e1 e2`

¶

Apply the parametric module `m1`

to the module `m2`

.

#### 3.8.1.6. `{ decs }`

¶

Returns a module that contains the given definitions. The resulting
module defines any name defined by any declaration that is not
`local`

, *in particular* including names made available via
`open`

.

#### 3.8.1.7. `import "foo"`

¶

Returns a module that contains the definitions of the file `"foo"`

relative to the current file. See Referring to Other Files.

### 3.8.2. Module Type Expressions¶

mod_type_exp::=`qualid`

| "{"`spec`

* "}" |`mod_type_exp`

"with"`qualid`

`type_param`

* "="`type`

| "("`mod_type_exp`

")" | "("`id`

":"`mod_type_exp`

")" "->"`mod_type_exp`

|`mod_type_exp`

"->"`mod_type_exp`

spec::= "val"`id`

`type_param`

* ":"`spec_type`

| "val"`binop`

`type_param`

* ":"`spec_type`

| "type"`id`

`type_param`

* "="`type`

| "type" ["^"]`id`

`type_param`

* | "module"`id`

":"`mod_type_exp`

| "include"`mod_type_exp`

spec_type::=`type`

|`type`

"->"`spec_type`

Module types classify modules, with the only (unimportant) difference
in expressivity being that modules can contain module types, but
module types cannot specify that a module must contain a specific
module types. They can specify of course that a module contains a
*submodule* of a specific module type.

## 3.9. Referring to Other Files¶

You can refer to external files in a Futhark file like this:

```
import "module"
```

The above will include all top-level definitions from `module.fut`

is and make them available in the current Futhark program. The
`.fut`

extension is implied.

You can also include files from subdirectories:

```
import "path/to/a/file"
```

The above will include the file `path/to/a/file.fut`

relative to the
including file. When importing a nonlocal file (such as the basis
library), the path must begin with a forward slash.

Qualified imports are also possible, where a module is created for the file:

```
module M = import "module"
```

In fact, a plain `import "module"`

is equivalent to:

```
local open import "module"
```