Sources

The project can be cloned from github repository.
The revision described in this post is d0b8a3d711d9fd46f675d03ec4b506fbcb74ae22.

Bytecode - JVM languages common denominator

All JVM languages are compiled into bytecode, which is interpreted by the virtual machine. This means that compilers do not know what language the referencing classes are compiled from. As long as the class is on classpath it can be used, regardless of programming language.

This opens huge possibilities. All Java libraries,utilities and frameworks can now be used by Enkel.

Finding classes methods and constructors

When you reference class defined in different class file you have two choices:

  • Runtime - trust programmer and generate bytecode without verifying that a signature exists on a classpath. This will throw exceptions at runtime if signature is not available on classpath.
  • Compile time - verify that signature exists on classpath before generating bytecode. This will stop compilation process if some referenced signature is not available.

In Enkel I decided to go with the second option - mainly due to safety reasons. It can be achieved using reflection api:

public class ClassPathScope {

 public Optional<FunctionSignature> getMethodSignature(Type owner, String methodName, List<Type> arguments) {
     try {
         Class<?> methodOwnerClass = owner.getTypeClass();
         Class<?>[] params = arguments.stream()
                 .map(Type::getTypeClass).toArray(Class<?>[]::new);
         Method method = methodOwnerClass.getMethod(methodName,params);
         return Optional.of(ReflectionObjectToSignatureMapper.fromMethod(method));
     } catch (Exception e) {
         return Optional.empty();
     }
 }

 public Optional<FunctionSignature> getConstructorSignature(String className, List<Type> arguments) {
     try {
         Class<?> methodOwnerClass = Class.forName(className);
         Class<?>[] params = arguments.stream()
                 .map(Type::getTypeClass).toArray(Class<?>[]::new);
         Constructor<?> constructor = methodOwnerClass.getConstructor(params);
         return Optional.of(ReflectionObjectToSignatureMapper.fromConstructor(constructor));
     } catch (Exception e) {
         return Optional.empty();
     }
 }
}

If the method (or constructor) is not found then the exception is thrown and the compilation process is terminated:

    //Scope.java
    return new ClassPathScope().getMethodSignature(owner.get(), methodName, argumentsTypes)
                    .orElseThrow(() -> new MethodSignatureNotFoundException(this,methodName,arguments));

This approach seems safer, but is also slower. All the dependencies must be resolved while compiling using expensive reflection.

Examples

Calling other Enkel classes

Let’s try to call Library class from Client class:

 Client {
 
     start {
         print "Client: Calling my own 'Library' class:"
         var myLibrary = new Library()
         var addition = myLibrary.add(5,2)
         print "Client: Result returned from 'Library.add' = " + addition
     }
 
 }
Library {

    int add(int x,int y) {
        print "Library: add() method called"
        return x+y
    }

}

First we need to compile Library (no multiple files compilation is supported so far). If we did not do this the Client compilation would fail due to unresolved reference to Library class.

kuba@kuba-laptop:~/repos/Enkel-JVM-language$ java -classpath compiler/target/compiler-1.0-SNAPSHOT-jar-with-dependencies.jar:. com.kubadziworski.compiler.Compiler EnkelExamples/ClassPathCalls/Library.enk 
kuba@kuba-laptop:~/repos/Enkel-JVM-language$ java -classpath compiler/target/compiler-1.0-SNAPSHOT-jar-with-dependencies.jar:. com.kubadziworski.compiler.Compiler EnkelExamples/ClassPathCalls/Client.enk 
kuba@kuba-laptop:~/repos/Enkel-JVM-language$ java Client 
Client: Calling my own 'Library' class:
Library: add() method called
Client: Result returned from 'Library.add' = 7

Calling Java API!

Client {

    start {
        var someString = "someString"
        print someString + " to upper case : " +  someString.toUpperCase()
    }

}
kuba@kuba-laptop:~/repos/Enkel-JVM-language$ java Client 
cos to upper case = COS

Jakub Dziworski

JVM Dev Blog