MP5 – Scheme




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MP5 – Scheme
The objective for this MP is to build an interpreter for a minimalist dialect of
Lisp called Scheme. You will learn to build a fully monadic evaluator, and a
read-evaluate-print-loop (REPL) to accept input from user.
This language will have the normal things you would expect in a Lisp-like language, such as functions, numbers, symbols, and lists. You will also write a
macro system and explore how to use it. Macros give you the ability to program your programming language, redefining it to be anything you want.
• Understand the basic syntax of Scheme and how to evaluate programs in
• Understand how to simulate stateful computation by composing monads,
and write seemingly imperative but under-the-hood functional code in
• Create a REPL for your interpreter which handles manipulating the environment based on inputs from the user
• Understand homoiconicity and metacircular evaluation via Scheme
Getting Started
Relevant Files
In the directory app/, you will find the program code, some of which is only
partially implemented, and which you will have to modify to complete this
assignment. The file test/Tests.hs contains the code used for testing.
Running Code
If you’d like to test your code on snippets of Scheme code, start GHCi with stack
ghci. (Make sure to load the Main module if stack ghci doesn’t automatically
do it). From there you can run the REPL by calling main. For example:
$ stack ghci
… More Output …
Prelude> :l Main
Ok, modules loaded: Main.
*Main> main
(Note that the initial $ and > are prompts, and not what you should type.)
You can run the REPL directly by building the executable with stack build
and running it with stack exec main.
Testing Your Code
You are able to run the test-suite with stack test:
$ stack test
It will tell you which test-suites you pass, fail, and have exceptions on. To see
an individual test-suite (so you can run the tests yourself by hand to see where
the failure happens), look in the file test/Spec.hs.
You can run individual test-sets by running stack ghci and loading the Spec
module with :l Spec. Then you can run the tests (specified in test/Tests.hs)
just by using the name of the test:
Look in the file test/Tests.hs to see which tests were run.
Given Code
In directory app/:
• Main.hs: partially implemented REPL frontend
In directory app/Scheme/:
• Core.hs: fully implemented core language data structures
• Parse.hs: fully implemented parser
• Eval.hs: partially implemented evaluator
• Runtime.hs: partially implemented runtime routines
Like previous assignments, the environment is a HashMap. You can access functions like lookup, union and insert through prefix H, such as: H.lookup
type Env = H.HashMap String Val
Abstract Syntax Tree
Now we offer you the Scheme AST. From your previous experience, do you
notice anything unusual?
data Val = Symbol String
| Boolean Bool
| Number Int
| Nil
| Pair Val Val
| PrimFunc ([Val] -> EvalState Val) — Primitive function,
— implemented in Haskell
| Func [String] Val Env — Closure
| Macro [String] Val — Macro
| Void — No value
That’s right, the AST is represented using values (Val) instead of expressions
(Exp). Scheme (as well as other Lisp dialects) is a homoiconic language, meaning
that the text of the language and the values are represented with the same data
Code is data. Data is code.
Expressions in the program are encoded as values: numbers, booleans, symbols
and lists. When you feed such a value to the evaluator, the evaluator treats it
as an expression and evaluates it!
Now we’ll describe what the different values represent, and provide some examples.
Kinds of values
1. Symbol
A Symbol is a string that represents a symbolic constant, such as a variable
or function name. In previous MPs, we would represent a symbol as an
expression, a.k.a. SymExp or VarExp. A reference to a VarExp would take
the variable name, and evaluate it to the value it was assigned to. However
in Scheme, it is also possible for the symbol itself to be used as a value.
2. Boolean
Standard boolean value, can be either true #t or false #f.
3. Number
For this MP, numbers are just integer values, we will not be implementing
floating point values.
4. Nil
A special value used to represent the empty list.
5. Pair
In Scheme, both pairs as well as lists are represented using the pair data
structure. A pair is considered to be a list if the second element is also a
list – either another list-pair, or the empty list Nil or (). In this way, pairs
are used in the same manner as the “cons” operator in Haskell. We refer
to such a pair as a “proper list”.
The syntax for a pair is (1 . 2), however if a pair is a proper list, then
it is printed with special list syntax. For instance, (1 . (2 . (3 . () )))
would be written out at simply (1 2 3).
It’s important to realize that for all of the syntactic forms we use in this
MP, any list of expressions is actually a pair representing a “proper list”,
and ending with the Nil object.
6. PrimFunc
A primitive function is a function defined in Haskell, lifted to Scheme. The
type constructor PrimFunc takes a function that takes an argument list and
returns an evaluation state, encapsulating either both the result of evaluation and the environment, or a Diagnostic thrown along the computation.
7. Func
A closure has an argument list, a body, and a captured environment.
As a side note, we are not implementing the reference memory model for
Scheme. Thus functions are passed by value, i.e. all variables of the closure
environment will be copied upon the copy of a closure.
8. Macro
A macro has an argument list and a body. The body will be first transformed to an expanded body by the evaluator, and the expanded body
gets fed back into the evaluator again. We’ll talk about it in detail in the
evaluation section.
9. Void
The evaluator returns a value for every expression. Void is a special return
type of the (define …) and (define-macro …) special forms. It does
not represent any data.
You are given a Diagnostic type which represents runtime errors thrown along
evaluation. In the semantics you will be expected to throw certain Diagnostic
at certain points of the evaluator.
data Diagnostic = UnexpectedArgs [Val]
| TypeError Val
| NotFuncError Val
| UndefSymbolError String
| NotArgumentList Val
| InvalidSpecialForm String Val
| CannotApply Val [Val]
| InvalidExpression Val
| NotASymbol Val
| NotAListOfTwo Val
| UnquoteNotInQuasiquote Val
| Unimplemented String
Evaluation State
At the end of Scheme/Core.hs, we defined for you the type of the evaluation
state monad, EvalState a, where a is the type of the evaluation result.
type EvalState a = StateT Env (Except Diagnostic) a
StateT is the monad transformer version of State. But you do not need to
fully understand monad transformers! Simply read the declaration above as:
EvalState is a state encapsulating the evaluation result of type a and the environment of type Env, except when a Diagnostic is thrown along the evaluation.
Unlike evaluators you have previously written in this course, the Scheme evaluator will look like imperative code. Under the hood, the do notation is doing
function composition. The following example is part of the evaluator of the
define special form for functions:
do — Save the current environment
env <- get
— Create closure value
val <- (\argVal -> Func argVal body env) <$> mapM getSym args
— Modify environment
modify $ H.insert fname val
— Return void
return Void
In order to work with the EvalState monad, you will use the following library
functions. To explain briefly, because of how we defined our EvalState with
StateT, EvalState is also an instance of some library typeclasses that provide us
with these functions:
— Return the state from the internals of the monad.
get :: EvalState Env
— Specify a new state to replace the state inside the monad.
put :: Env -> EvalState ()
— Monadic state transformer. Taking a function as its argument, it converts
— the old state to a new state inside the state monad. The old state is lost.
modify :: (Env -> Env) -> EvalState ()
— Used within a monadic computation to begin exception processing. We’ll use
— it to throw `Diagnostic` errors and still return an `EvalState`.
throwError :: Diagnostic -> EvalState a
1. Value
A value is just a Val. It’s sometimes referred to as “datum”.
2. Self-evaluating
We call a datum self-evaluating if it always evaluates to itself. Number and
Boolean are self-evaluating.
3. Form
A form is a Scheme datum (Val) that is also a program, that is, it can be
fed into the evaluator. It can be a self-evaluating value, a symbol, or a
4. Special form
A special form is a form with special syntax and special evaluation rules,
possibly manipulating the evaluation environment, control flow, or both.
5. Macro
A macro is a form that stands for another form. An application of macro
may look like a function application, but it goes through macro expansion
first to get translated to the form it stands for, and then the expanded
form will be evaluated.
6. Diagnostic
A diagnostic is a run time error thrown along evaluation.
We recommend reading through the entire instructions PDF before beginning.
Also, the notation may not appear correctly in the .md file, so please do read
the PDF.
If you encounter an “unimplemented” error when evaluating a scheme expression
in the examples, do not worry. It’s up to you to go ahead and implement it,
or keep following the order of the handout. You’ll eventually implement these
features, but you may have to go back and forth.
Problem 1. REPL
The first order of business is to implement the REPL, located in Main.hs. Besides
our test suite, the REPL is what allows us to test snippets of Scheme code and
to see how they evaluate.
The REPL is implemented as a function repl :: Env -> IO (), and you’ll have
to implement certain cases of evalaution.
Our REPL starts by reading a string from the command line and then parsing
it into the Scheme AST. If it fails to parse an error will be printed. Otherwise
we will call a function runExcept returning type Either Diagnostic (Val, Env).
The Either datatype is an error-handling datatype similar to Maybe, but rather
than returning a Just value upon success, it will return a Right value, where
Right contains a value and a new environment. Additionally rather than returning Nothing on failure, it will return a Left value, containing a Diagnostic
repl :: Env -> IO ()
repl env = do
putStr “scheme> ”
l <- getLine — Read
case parse exprP “Expression” l of — Parse
Left err -> print err — Diagnostics
Right expr ->
case runExcept $ runStateT (eval expr) env of — Eval
Left err -> print err
— Insert line here: If return value is void,
— loop with new env without printing
— Insert line here: Otherwise, print and loop with new env

— The following line may be removed when you’re done implementing
— the cases above:
_ -> print “Error in Main.hs: Finish implementing repl”
repl env — Loop with old env
Your job is to take what the call to runExcept returns and implement the TODO.
If an error diagnostic message is returned, print the error. (This case has already
been given.) Otherwise, check to see the value that was returned. If it was Void,
then go back to the start of the loop using the new environment. Otherwise,
print the value before looping.
We do not automatically test your REPL in the test cases! As a sanity check,
the following should work even if you haven’t done the rest of the MP yet. These
inputs correspond to catching an error, evaluating to a void, and evaluating to
some other value:
scheme> (define (f x))
Error: Invalid pattern in special form `define`: (define (f x))
scheme> (define (f x) (1))
scheme> `(3 . 3)
(3 . 3)
After you implement the remainder of the MP, all sorts of inputs should work:
scheme> (cons ‘monad ‘(is just a monoid in the category of endofunctors))
(monad is just a monoid in the category of endofunctors)
Here we will write and test our evaluator.
Problem 2. Integer & Boolean, the self-evaluating primitives
Integer and Boolean evaluate to themselves. They are examples of expressions
in “normal form”. When an expression evaluates, the goal is to continually
evaluate it further, until it reaches a normal form.
About the notation: when n is evaluated in environment σ, the result is n and
the environment remains the same σ.
[[n | σ]] ⇓ ⟨n | σ⟩
[[#t | σ]] ⇓ ⟨#t | σ⟩
[[#f | σ]] ⇓ ⟨#f | σ⟩
Problem 3. Symbol
A Symbol evaluates to the value that it is bound to in the current environment.
If the value is not in the current environment, we throw an error instead. Note
that for errors thrown, you have to throw the correct type of error. For the
purposes of this assignment, you are free to pass any argument that you find
useful as an argument to the error.
(s 7→ v) ∈ σ
[[s | σ]] ⇓ ⟨v | σ⟩
(s 7→ v) ∈/ σ
[[s | σ]] ⇓ ⟨UndefSymbolError | σ⟩
Problem 4. Special form define for variables
Now that we’ve given a way to reference variables, we want to allow the user
to define variables. Variable definitions have the form (define var exp) (an
s-expression), where var is a Symbol. The evaluator will evaluate the exp and
bind the symbol to the resulting value.
Up to this point we’ve only been matching individual values. How do we match
an s-expression? In our implementation s-expressions are implemented as lists
of expressions. As we mentioned in our description of the AST, lists are built
recursively using the Pair datatype.
In the skeleton of the code we’ve already written a case designed to handle all
pairs / lists / s-expressions.
eval [email protected](Pair v1 v2) = case flattenList expr of
Left _ -> throwError $ InvalidExpression expr
Right lst -> evalList lst where
Our code first “flattens” the pair to see if it is actually a proper list. If it is, we
call evalList, which will check the structure of the list to see if it matches one
of the language’s special syntactic forms – in our case (define var exp). Most
of our language’s syntax from here on out will be implemented as as cases of
You can use put or modify to mutate the state of the state monad. put takes an
environment and set it as the new state, modify takes a function that performs
an operation over environments and performs it on the state.
In our notation, σ is the original environment, σ

is an environment that may
have been modified recursively, and finally we use substitution notation to show
′ gets updated with the new binding for x.
[[e | σ]] ⇓ ⟨v | σ

[[(define x e) | σ]] ⇓ ⟨Void | σ

[x 7→ v]⟩
scheme> (define a (+ 10 20))
scheme> a
scheme> b
Error: Symbol b is undefined
(In real Scheme, you’re not allowed to have a nested define, but our evaluator
doesn’t check for this, which allows for some strange program behavior.)
Problem 5a. Application Form (Closures)
Next we would like to be able to define not only variables, but also functions.
However, before we can test function definitions, we have to be able to call
Function application is the case when we have an s-expression, but none of the
special syntactic forms are being used.
(f arg1 … argn)
This is stubbed out as the final, wildcard case of evalList.
evalList (fexpr:args) =
do f <- eval fexpr
apply f args
The first expression is evaluated, and then we call the apply function, typed
apply :: Val -> [Val] -> EvalState Val. The first argument is the function
value, and the second argument are the (un-evaluated) expressions being passed
to the function. This function’s behavior is different based on whether the first
argument is a primitive function, function closure, or a macro.
We’ve already implemented the case for primitive functions. We leave aside
macros for a little bit later, your job is to implement the case for function
closures. The semantics for function application can be defined as follows:
[[f | σ]] ⇓ ⟨Func p1 · · · pn e σf | σ

⟩ [[e1 | σ

]] ⇓ ⟨v1 | σ1⟩ · · · [[en | σn−1]] ⇓ ⟨vn | σn⟩ [[e |
7→ vi} ∪ σf ∪ σn]] ⇓ ⟨v | σ
[[f e1 · · · en | σ]] ⇓ ⟨v | σn⟩
A high-level summary of the steps the complete implementation will perform:
1. Evaluate f to a function closure (done before apply is called).
2. Evaluate the argument expressions e1 to en (possible modifying the environment).
3. Save the environment (Hint: use get to get the environment from the
4. Insert the values from the closure environment into the current environment.
5. Bind function parameter names to the argument expression values and
insert them into the environment.
6. Evaluate the function body
7. Restore the environment we saved in step 3
8. Return the result of step 6
A note about recursion in Scheme: As you can see from the steps above, when
functions are applied, they get evaluated in an environment that combines the
bindings where the application occurs with the bindings stored in the closure.
That means a function can easily refer to itself. In some other languages, this
is not how recursion is implemented. What would happen if a function body
could only be evaluated in the closure environment?
Problem 5b. Special form define for named functions
We’ve already implemented this case for you.
A function definition has the form (define (f params) body). The parameters,
body, and environment when the function is declared get wrapped into a Func
value. It uses get to retrieve the environment from the state monad, and modify
to mutate the state. A Func value is also a normal form.
The semantics for this can be given as follows. The notation valid(p1 · · · pn)
means that parameters p1 · · · pn (such as might be labeled x y z in f x y z, for
example) must be a proper list of Symbols, implemented with type List [Symbol].
valid(p1 · · · pn)
[[(define (f p1 · · · pn) e) | σ]] ⇓ ⟨Void | σ[f 7→ Func p1 · · · pn e σ]⟩
¬ valid(p1 · · · pn)
[[(define (f p1 · · · pn) e) | σ]] ⇓ ⟨NotASymbol | σ⟩
scheme> (define x 1)
scheme> (define (inc y) (+ y x))
scheme> inc
#<function:(λ (y) …)>
scheme> (inc 10)
scheme> (define x 2)
scheme> (define (add x y) (+ x y))
scheme> (add 3 4)
scheme> (define (fact n) (cond ((< n 1) 1) (else (* n (fact (- n 1))))))
scheme> (fact 5)
Note that named functions in Scheme can be used recursively. This isn’t because
of the binding semantics given here, but because of the mechanism by which
they are applied. There is more detail later in this document.
Problem 5c. Special form lambda for anonymous function expressions
Given the case for named functions, we also require that you implement the
form for anonymous / lambda functions. The lambda function form is (lambda
(params) body), which evaluates to a Func. The lambda creates an anonymous
function to be used as a value, and it does not automatically bind it to a name
in the environment.
One thing of note is that this is the first special form that requires you to match
a nested list, the list containing params. Recall from our explanation of the
AST that lists in Scheme are represented not as an actual Haskell list, but as a
Scheme value.
You can convert this value into a list using the getList function, which is present
in Eval.hs. You may need to do this for other problems as well. Even after it’s
converted to a list, it will be a list of values. You will need to manipulate it
further if you want it to become a list of strings.
valid(p1 · · · pn)
[[(lambda (p1 · · · pn) e) | σ]] ⇓ ⟨Func p1 · · · pn e σ | σ⟩
¬ valid(p1 · · · pn)
[[(lambda (p1 · · · pn) e) | σ]] ⇓ ⟨NotASymbol | σ⟩
In usage, a lambda expression could be applied immediately where it is written:
scheme> (lambda (x) (+ x 10))
#<function:(λ (x) …)>
scheme> ((lambda (x) (+ x 10)) 20)
Or, a lambda expression could be explicitly bound to a name in the environment
using define. You can even parameterize it by supplying additional parameters
with the define:
scheme> (define (incBy x) (lambda (y) (+ x y)))
scheme> (define i2 (incBy 2))
scheme> (i2 10)
This partially allows for currying. However, direct application of such functions
still must obey the proper nesting of parentheses:
scheme> (incBy 2 10)
Error: Cannot apply #<function:(λ (x) …)> on argument list (2 10)
scheme> ((incBy 2) 10)
Problem 6. Special form cond
Note: Several of the test cases for cond will not work until quotes are implemented in one of the later parts. If all the non-quote test cases work, you can
move on. You could also
Instead of an if expression, Scheme makes use of the cond form, defined as (cond
(c1 e1) … (cn en)). If c1 evaluates to true, then e1 is evaluated and returned.
If c1 evaluates to false, then the next condition is evaluated.
The last condition, cn, can optionally be symbol else. The expression following
else will be evaluated when all previous conditions evaluate to false. If else
appears in one of the conditions that is not the last condition, it’s an invalid
special form (throw an error). If conditions are not exhaustive, i.e. when all
conditions evaluate to false, return Void.
Note that you are given the function getListOf2 in Eval.hs which can be used
to verify that a Scheme list has length of two, and then returns a Haskell pair.
[[(cond) | σ]] ⇓ ⟨InvalidSpecialForm | σ⟩
[[c1 | σ]] ⇓ ⟨Truthy | σ

⟩ [[e1 | σ

]] ⇓ ⟨v1 | σ
[[(cond (c1 e1)· · ·(cn en)) | σ]] ⇓ ⟨v1 | σ
where Truthy is any non-False value and n ≥ 1
[[c1 | σ]] ⇓ ⟨False | σ

⟩ [[(cond (c2 e2)· · ·(cn en)) | σ

]] ⇓ ⟨v | σ
[[(cond (c1 e1)· · ·(cn en)) | σ]] ⇓ ⟨v | σ
where n ≥ 2
[[e | σ]] ⇓ ⟨v | σ

[[(cond (else e)) | σ]] ⇓ ⟨v | σ
[[c1 | σ]] ⇓ ⟨False | σ

[[(cond (c1 e1)) | σ]] ⇓ ⟨Void | σ
[[(cond (else e1)· · ·(cn en)) | σ]] ⇓ ⟨InvalidSpecialForm | σ⟩
scheme> (cond ((> 4 3) ‘a) ((> 4 2) ‘b))
scheme> (cond ((< 4 3) ‘a) ((> 4 2) ‘b))
scheme> (cond ((< 4 3) ‘a) ((< 4 2) ‘b))
(no output)
Problem 7. Special form let
Define the (let ((x1 e1) … (xn en)) body) form. The definitions made in
((x1 e1) … (xn en)) should be added using simultaneous assignment to the
environment that body is evaluated in. You’ll need to check that the expressions
being bound (the (x1 e1) … (xn en)) are well-formed (they are a form with
two entries, the first being a variable name).
Note that in Eval.hs you are given a function getBinding which checks if a single
(xi ei) clause of a let or let* is a proper list where the first element is a symbol,
which is evaluated to a String; then, it evaluates the second element to a Val,
and returns a Haskell tuple of type (String, Val).
[[e1 | σ]] ⇓ ⟨v1 | σ1⟩ · · · [[en | σ]] ⇓ ⟨vn | σn⟩ [[ebody |
7→ vi} ∪ σ]] ⇓ ⟨v | σ

[[(let ((x1 e1)· · ·(xn en)) ebody) | σ]] ⇓ ⟨v | σ⟩
scheme> (let ((x 5) (y 10)) (+ x y))
scheme> (define x 20)
scheme> (define y 30)
scheme> (let ((x 11) (y 4)) (- (* x y) 2))
scheme> x
scheme> y
Problem 8. Special forms quote, quasiquote and unquote
Note: These cases are quite simple, however some of the test cases will not work
until the assignment has been completed. You should be able to get the test
cases that do not use eval completed however, and after this point conditionals
should work as well.
By default all code that appears in a program will be evaluated to a value. The
special forms quote and the related forms quasiquote and unquote so that some
code can be used as data instead.
The special form quote returns its single argument, as written, without evaluating it. This provides a way to include constant symbols and lists, which are
not self-evaluating objects, in a program.
The special form quasiquote allows you to quote a value, but selectively evaluate
elements of that list. In the simplest case, it is identical to the special form quote.
However, when there is a form of pattern (unquote …) within a quasiquote
context, the single argument of the unquote form gets evaluated.
As a homoiconic language, most of Scheme’s syntax is exactly the same as the
AST representation. There are, however, three special tokens in the read syntax
(human-readable, to be desugared by the parser to Scheme AST as the internal
representation) as a syntactic sugar for quoting, quasi-quoting and unquoting.
You do not need to implement the desugaring since it’s handled by our parser.
• ‘form is equivalent to (quote form)
• `form is equivalent to (quasiquote form)
• ,form is equivalent to (unquote form)
scheme> ‘a
scheme> ‘5
scheme> (quote a)
scheme> ‘*first-val*
scheme> ”a
(quote a)
scheme> (car (quote (a b c)))
scheme> (car ‘(a b c))
scheme> (car ”(a b c))
scheme> ‘(2 3 4)
(2 3 4)
scheme> (list (+ 2 3))
scheme> ‘( (+ 2 3))
((+ 2 3))
scheme> ‘(+ 2 3)
(+ 2 3)
scheme> (eval ‘(+ 1 2))
scheme> (eval ”(+ 1 2))
(+ 1 2)
scheme> (eval (eval ”(+ 1 2)))
scheme> (define a ‘(+ x 1))
scheme> (define x 5)
scheme> (eval a)
scheme> (define a 5)
scheme> “(+ ,,a 1)
(quasiquote (+ (unquote 5) 1))
scheme> “(+ ,,a ,a)
(quasiquote (+ (unquote 5) (unquote a)))
scheme> `(+ a ,,a)
Error: `unquote` not in a `quasiquote context: (unquote (unquote a))`
scheme> “(+ a ,,a)
(quasiquote (+ a (unquote 5)))
scheme> (eval “(+ ,,a 1))
(+ 5 1)
scheme> (eval (eval “(+ ,,a 1)))
As for the semantics of these special forms, here’s the semantics for quote:
[[‘e | σ]] ⇓ ⟨e | σ⟩
And the semantics for a top-level unquote:
[[,e | σ]] ⇓ ⟨UnquoteInQuasiquote | σ⟩
The semantics for quasi-quote are significantly more complex, however we have
already implemented this case for you, which you are free to look at if you would
like insight into how quasiquotes work.
Problem 9a. Special form define-macro / Macro Application
Lastly, we get to write macro functionality. This problem has two parts, both
of which must be completed before the test cases will pass.
Define the (define-macro (f params) exp) form which defines a Macro. A Macro
is similar to a function: the key difference is not here in its definition binding,
but later in its application, where we actually do evaluation twice. First, we
evaluate the body of the macro, processing the arguments as frozen syntactic
pieces without evaluating them individually, getting a new syntax blob. Then,
we feed the result back into the evaluator to get the final result. In essence,
macros use lazy evaluation.
ps = p1 · · · pn
[[(define-macro (f ps) e) | σ]] ⇓ ⟨Void | σ[f 7→ Macro ps e]⟩ if valid(ps)
[[(define-macro (f ps) e) | σ]] ⇓ InvalidSpecialForm if ¬ valid(ps)
In your evaluator skeleton, we implemented a special form if for you, but it’s
commented out. We do not need if as a special form because it can be defined
as a macro using cond!
scheme> (define-macro (if con then else) `(cond (,con ,then) (else ,else)))
scheme> if
#<macro (con then else) …>
scheme> (define a 5)
scheme> (if (> a 2) 10 20)
scheme> (if (< a 2) 10 20)
scheme> (define (fact n) (if (< n 1) 1 (* n (fact (- n 1)))))
scheme> (fact 10)
scheme> (define-macro (mkplus e) (if (eq? (car e) ‘-) (cons ‘+ (cdr e)) e))
scheme> (mkplus (- 5 4))
Problem 9b. Application Form (Macros)
Finally, we go back to the apply function to implement the macro case.
Recall that the main distinction between macros and non-macros is that a macro
manipulates its arguments at the syntax level before actually evaluating them.
With that in mind, the semantics of macro application is similar to the semantics
of function application.
[[f | σ]] ⇓ ⟨Macro p1 · · · pn e | σ

⟩ [[e |
7→ ei} ∪ σ

]] ⇓ ⟨e

| σ
′′⟩ [[e

| σ

]] ⇓ ⟨v | σ3⟩
[[f e1 · · · en | σ]] ⇓ ⟨v | σ3⟩
A high-level summary of the steps will be:
1. Evaluate the function to a macro (completed before apply is called)
2. Save the environment
3. Bind arguments (without evaluating them) to the parameters of the macro
and insert them to the environment
4. Evaluate the macro body (i.e. expand the macro body)
5. Restore the environment we saved in step 2
6. Evaluate the expanded form (the result of step 3) and return it
Runtime Library
This assignment is almost complete. One notable thing that we haven’t implemented at all are the primitive operations of the language. Arithmetic operations, etc. Our version of Scheme implements primitive operations by implementing them as regular functions.
The constant runtime is the initial runtime environment for the repl; it is a map
from String (identifiers) to Val (values). This will be used to hold the values
of defined constants, operators, and functions. The main call to repl should
provide this runtime as the starting environment. (It is also possible to call repl
with a different starting environment for experimental purposes.) You can test
your runtime using the REPL, so implement the REPL first!
Our version of runtime has already been initialized with most of the predefined
primitive operations. Your job will be to extend the runtime with a few extra
operations that are useful in different contexts.
runtime :: Env
runtime = H.fromList [ (“+”, liftIntVargOp (+) 0)
, (“-“, liftIntVargOp (-) 0)
, (“and”, liftBoolVargOp and)
, (“or”, liftBoolVargOp or)
, (“cons”, PrimFunc cons)
, (“append”, PrimFunc append)
, (“symbol?”, PrimFunc isSymbol)
, (“list?”, PrimFunc isList)
Note that runtime is used in the initial call by main in app/Main.hs, which we
have been using to test our Scheme code.
main :: IO ()
main = repl runtime
Problem 10. Type Predicates (symbol?, list?, pair?, number?, boolean?,
(Recall that a “predicate” is a function that returns a Boolean value.) These
functions check whether a data element is of the corresponding type. They must
take a single argument, but contained in a Haskell list of type [Val], so that
they are compatible with the AST constructor PrimFunc.
Within app/Scheme/Runtime.hs, your job is to extend the definition of the
runtime constant to include these functions. The symbol? case has already
been implemented for you to get you started. The total list of predicates which
must be implemented are:
• symbol? Checks whether the input is a Symbol.
• list? Checks whether the input is a “proper list”, aka either the empty
list or a pair whose second element is a proper list.
• pair? Checks whether the input is a Pair.
• null? Checks for an empty list.
• number? Checks whether the input is a Number.
• boolean? Checks whether the input is a Boolean.
Note: The list? case is the most complicated one, so you can try to implement
the others before implementing it.
scheme> (symbol? ‘a)
scheme> (symbol? ‘b)
scheme> (symbol?)
Error: Unexpected arguments ()
scheme> (symbol? 3)
scheme> (list? ‘(3 5))
scheme> (list? ‘())
scheme> (list? ‘(3 . (6 . 7)))
scheme> (list? ‘(3 5 . 6))
scheme> (list? ‘(3 5 (6 . 7)))
scheme> (list? 3)
scheme> (list? 3 5)
Error: Unexpected arguments (3 5)
scheme> (list?)
Error: Unexpected arguments ()
scheme> (pair?)
Error: Unexpected arguments ()
scheme> (pair? 3)
scheme> (pair? ‘(3 . 6))
scheme> (pair? ‘(3 5))
scheme> (number? ‘(3))
scheme> (pair? ‘())
scheme> (number? 3)
scheme> (boolean? 3)
scheme> (boolean? #f)
scheme> (number? #t)
scheme> (number?)
Error: Unexpected arguments ()
scheme> (boolean? 3 #f)
Error: Unexpected arguments (3 #f)
scheme> (null? ‘())
scheme> (null? ‘(‘()))
scheme> (null? ‘(3 5))
scheme> (null?)
Error: Unexpected arguments ()
Problem 11. Extend the Runtime Library
Lastly, as we mentioned at the start, Scheme is a homoiconic language. This
means code is data and data is code. For our very last function, we’ll implement a primitive eval function, which takes as its argument a code datum and
evaluates it to a value.
— Primitive function `eval`
— It evaluates the single argument as an expression
— All you have to do is to check the number of arguments and
— feed the single argument to the evaluator!
— Examples:
— (eval ‘(+ 1 2 3)) => 6
evalPrim :: [Val] -> EvalState Val
evalPrim = undefined
Aside from the provided testcases, you may want to manually enter the examples
shown above, to observe that everything is working correctly (and for your
Finally, more cool stuff
This section is not graded, but you’ll absolutely love it.
Now you have finished the MP! If you enjoyed implementing Scheme, you may
enjoy these further challenges as well:
1. More parsing capabilities
• The parser for the current REPL supports one expression per line.
But you can extend it to accept multiple expressions in a single line.
• Accepting file inputs will also be an important feature for a real
programming language.
• Comments begin with ; and continue until the end of the line.
2. Memory model and side effects
The subset of Scheme you’ve implemented so far is purely functional, but
Scheme is not a purely functional language. Special form set! is used
to modify a variable. Scheme also has a memory model, which has reference semantics. In particular, a closure that captures the environment is
treated as a “heap object”, which gets passed by reference.
For example, Scheme lets us define a counter without using any global
scheme> (define my-counter
(let ((count 0))
(lambda ()
(set! count (+ count 1))
scheme> (my-counter)
scheme> (my-counter)
scheme> (my-counter)
scheme> (define other-counter my-counter) ;; Assigning reference
scheme> (other-counter)
scheme> (other-counter)
scheme> (my-counter)
scheme> (other-counter)
Hint: You’ll need to give Env an overhaul, simulate pointers (for which
you might need the IORef monad), and properly handle global scoping
and lexical scoping.
3. Higher-order functions
Why not implement map and reduce in Scheme? Create your own functional library in Scheme, store the functions in a file, and load it every
time you start the REPL.
4. Metacircular evaluator
Data is code. Code is data.
With all the primitive functions that you implemented, did you know you
can implement a Scheme evaluator in Scheme? Try to implement eval
directly in Scheme!
scheme> (eval ‘(+ 1 2 3))
scheme> (eval ‘(apply + ‘(1 2 3)))
Here’s an introduction to the metacircular evaluator in one page:
5. Learn everything else from SICP
Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs is an excellent textbook for teaching the principles of programming.
Special thanks to Richard Wei for major contributions to this MP.