Conference paper

Squid: Type-Safe, Hygienic, and Reusable Quasiquotes

Quasiquotes have been shown to greatly simplify the task of metaprogramming. This is in part because they hide the data structures of the intermediate representation (IR), instead allowing metaprogrammers to use the concrete syntax of the language they manipulate. Scala has had ``syntactic'' quasiquotes for a long time, but still misses a statically-typed version like in MetaOCaml, Haskell and F#. This safer flavor of quasiquotes has been particularly useful for staging and domain-specific languages. In this paper we present Squid, a metaprogramming system for Scala that fills this gap. Squid quasiquotes are novel in three ways: they are the first statically-typed quasiquotes we know that allow code inspection (via pattern matching); they are implemented purely as a macro library, without modifications to the compiler; and they are reusable in the sense that they can manipulate different IRs. Adapting (or binding) a new IR to Squid is done simply by implementing a well-defined interface in the style of object algebras (i.e., tagless-final). We detail how Squid is implemented, leveraging the metaprogramming tools already offered by Scala, and show three application examples: the definition of a binding for a DSL in the style of LMS; a safe ANF conversion; and the introduction of type-safe, hygienic macros as an alternative to the current macro system.

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