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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Typed Self-Applicable Meta-Programming

  • Author(s): Brown, Matt
  • Advisor(s): Palsberg, Jens
  • et al.

Self-applicable meta-programming has its roots in the early days of

computer science.

Two early examples were published in 1936: the universal Turing

machine, and a self-interpreter for the λ-calculus.

These were major advances in computability theory, but

self-application has a long history of practical uses as well.

Many languages have self-interpreters or self-hosting compilers.

Others support self-applicable meta-programming as a general-purpose

technique that enables elegant solutions to many problems.

Until now, these techniques have been incompatible with static type

checking, which has many benefits of its own.

In this thesis I present techniques for practical self-applicable

meta-programming for statically typed languages.

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