A tension in language design has been between simple semantics on the one hand, and rich possibilities for side-effects, exception handling and so on on the other. The introduction of monads has made a large step towards reconciling these alternatives. First proposed by Moggi as a way of structuring semantic descriptions, they were adopted by Wadler to structure Haskell programs, and now offer a general technique for delimiting the scope of effects, thus reconciling referential transparency and imperative operations within one programming language. Monads have been used to solve long-standing problems such as adding pointers and assignment, inter-language working, and exception handling to Haskell, without compromising its purely functional semantics. The course will introduce monads, effects and related notions, and exemplify their applications in programming (Haskell) and in compilation (MLj). The course will present typed metalanguages for monads and related categorica...
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In International Summer School On Applied Semantics APPSEM’2000