Select Page

PL Perspectives

Perspectives on computing and technology from and for those with an interest in programming languages.
The Story of the Flash Fill Feature in Excel

The Story of the Flash Fill Feature in Excel

My POPL 2011 “Flash Fill” paper was the most important turning point in my research career. I went from searching for the hardest problem I can solve to searching for the simplest problem that will have the most impact. It sensitized me to customer connection and enlightened me to how practical requirements can inspire foundational research ideas and directions. And most of all, it led to a blissful connection with my loved ones.

Read more...

Specification Synthesis with Constrained Horn Clauses

Specification Synthesis with Constrained Horn Clauses

The problem of program verification is to find whether a program meets its specification. But if a program calls functions whose bodies are missing, the verification aims at finding the most general implementations of these functions. In this post we show how advances in automated reasoning allow for doing it efficiently.

Read more...

High Performance Correctly Rounded Math Libraries for 32-bit Floating Point Representations

High Performance Correctly Rounded Math Libraries for 32-bit Floating Point Representations

Everyone uses math libraries. Surprisingly, mainstream math libraries do not produce correct results for several thousands of inputs. Developers are seldom aware of them, which affects reproducibility and portability. We describe our new method for synthesizing elementary functions that produces correct results for all inputs but is also significantly faster than the state of the art libraries, which have been optimized for decades.

Read more...

Making Software Sandboxing Practical using Language-based Techniques

Making Software Sandboxing Practical using Language-based Techniques

Software sandboxing or software-based fault isolation (SFI) is a lightweight approach to building secure systems out of untrusted components. The idea of SFI is old. Its use in production, to sandbox third-party libraries in Firefox, is new. We describe the PL techniques—notably static information flow control—that were key to deploying SFI in practice and their use in tackling software security more generally.

Read more...

New Leadership at PL Perspectives

New Leadership at PL Perspectives

A brief farewell from Mike Hicks, outgoing co-editor at PL Perspectives, and a brief hello by Adrian Sampson, co-editor incoming!

Read more...

Programming Languages + Human-Computer Interaction: Continuing the story at SPLASH 2020

Programming Languages + Human-Computer Interaction: Continuing the story at SPLASH 2020

How can types and formal reasoning tools improve the lives of people who write software? This is the focus of the HATRA (Human Aspects of Types and Reasoning Assistants) workshop. At the 2020 meeting, we discussed exciting opportunities for these key PL techniques to make developers more effective.

Read more...