Check out the new USENIX Web site.

Home About USENIX Events Membership Publications Students
Conference on Domain-Specific Languages, 1997

Typed Common Intermediate Format

Zhong Shao
Yale University


Application languages are very effective in solving specific software problems. Unfortunately, they pose great challenges to reliable and efficient implementations. In fact, most existing application languages are slow, interpreted, and have poor interoperability with general-purpose languages.

This paper presents a framework on building high-quality systems environment for multiple advanced languages. Our key innovation is the use of a common typed intermediate language, named FLINT, to model the semantics and interactions of various language-specific features. FLINT is based on a predicative variant of the Girard-Reynolds polymorphic calculus Fomega, extended with a very rich set of primitive types and functions.

FLINT provides a common compiler infrastructure that can be quickly adapted to generate compilers for new general-purpose and domain-specific languages. With its single unified type system, FLINT serves as a great platform for reasoning about cross-language interoperations. FLINT types act as a glue to connect language features that complicate interoperability, such as mixed data representations, multiple function calling conventions, and different memory management protocols. In addition, because all runtime representations are determined by FLINT types, languages compiled under FLINT can share the same system-wide garbage collector and foreign function call interface.

  • View the full text of this paper in HTML form and PDF form.

  • If you need the latest Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download it from Adobe's site.

  • To become a USENIX Member, please see our Membership Information.

?Need help? Use our Contacts page.

Last changed: 15 April 2002 aw
Technical Program
Conference Index