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MoonBit

MoonBit is an end-to-end programming language toolchain for cloud and edge computing using WebAssembly. The IDE environment is available at https://try.moonbitlang.com without any installation; it does not rely on any server either.

Status and aimed timeline

It is currently alpha, experimental. We expect MoonBit to reach beta-preview in 02/2024 and beta in 06/2024.

When MoonBit reaches beta, it means any backwards-incompatible changes will be seriously evaluated and MoonBit can be used in production(very rare compiler bugs). MoonBit is developed by a talented full time team who had extensive experience in building language toolchains, so we will grow much faster than the typical language ecosystem, you won't wait long to use MoonBit in your production.

Main advantages

  • Generate significantly smaller WASM output than any existing solutions.
  • Much faster runtime performance.
  • State of the art compile-time performance.
  • Simple but practical, data-oriented language design.

Overview

A MoonBit program consists of type definitions, function definitions, and variable bindings. The entry point of every package is a special init function. The init function is special in two aspects:

  1. There can be multiple init functions in the same package.
  2. An init function can't be explicitly called or referred to by other functions. Instead, all init functions will be implicitly called when initializing a package. Therefore, init functions should only consist of statements.
fn init {
  print("Hello world!") // OK
}

fn init {
  let x = 1
  // x // fail
  print(x) // success
}

MoonBit distinguishes between statements and expressions. In a function body, only the last clause should be an expression, which serves as a return value. For example:

fn foo() -> Int {
  let x = 1
  x + 1 // OK
}

fn bar() -> Int {
  let x = 1
  x + 1 // fail
  x + 2
}

fn init {
  print(foo())
  print(bar())
}

Expressions and Statements

Expressions include:

  • Value literals (e.g. Boolean values, numbers, characters, strings, arrays, tuples, structs)
  • Arithmetical, logical, or comparison operations
  • Accesses to array elements (e.g. a[0]) or struct fields (e.g r.x) or tuple components (e.g. t.0)
  • Variables and (capitalized) enum constructors
  • Anonymous local function definitions
  • match and if expressions

Statements include:

  • Named local function definitions
  • Local variable bindings
  • Assignments
  • While loops and related control constructs (break and continue)
  • return statements
  • Any expression whose return type is unit

Functions

Functions take arguments and produce a result. In MoonBit, functions are first-class, which means that functions can be arguments or return values of other functions.

Top-Level Functions

Functions can be defined as top-level or local. We can use the fn keyword to define a top-level function that sums three integers and returns the result, as follows:

fn add3(x: Int, y: Int, z: Int)-> Int {
x + y + z
}

Note that the arguments and return value of top-level functions require explicit type annotations. If the return type is omitted, the function will be treated as returning the unit type.

Local Functions

Local functions can be named or anonymous. Type annotations can be omitted for local function definitions: they can be automatically inferred in most cases. For example:

fn foo() -> Int {
  fn inc(x) { x + 1 }  // named as `inc`
  fn (x) { x + inc(2) } (6) // anonymous, instantly applied to integer literal 6
}

fn init {
  print(foo())
}

Functions, whether named or anonymous, are lexical closures: any identifiers without a local binding must refer to bindings from a surrounding lexical scope. For example:

let y = 3
fn foo(x: Int) {
  fn inc()  { x + 1 } // OK, will return x + 1
  fn four() { y + 1 } // Ok, will return 4
  print(inc())
  print(four())
}

fn init {
  foo(2)
}

Function Applications

A function can be applied to a list of arguments in parentheses:

add3(1, 2, 7)

This works whether add3 is a function defined with a name (as in the previous example), or a variable bound to a function value, as shown below:

fn init {
  let add3 = fn(x, y, z) { x + y + z }
  print(add3(1, 2, 7))
}

The expression add3(1, 2, 7) returns 10. Any expression that evaluates to a function value is applicable:

fn init {
  let f = fn (x) { x + 1 }
  let g = fn (x) { x + 2 }
  print((if true { f } else { g })(3)) // OK
}

Control Structures

Conditional Expressions

A conditional expression consists of a condition, a consequent, and an optional else clause.

if x == y {
expr1
} else {
expr2
}

if x == y {
expr1
}

The else clause can also contain another if-else expression:

if x == y {
expr1
} else if z == k {
expr2
}

Curly brackets are used to group multiple expressions in the consequent or the else clause.

Note that a conditional expression always returns a value in MoonBit, and the return values of the consequent and the else clause must be of the same type.

Functional loop

Functional loop is a powerful feature in MoonBit that enables you to write loops in a functional style.

A functional loop consumes arguments and returns a value. It is defined using the loop keyword, followed by its arguments and the loop body. The loop body is a sequence of clauses, each of which consists of a pattern and an expression. The clause whose pattern matches the input will be executed, and the loop will return the value of the expression. If no pattern matches, the loop will panic. Use the continue keyword with arguments to start the next iteration of the loop. Use the break keyword with arguments to return a value from the loop. The break keyword can be omitted if the value is the last expression in the loop body.

fn sum(xs: List[Int]) -> Int {
loop xs, 0 {
Nil, acc => break acc // break can be omitted
Cons(x, rest), acc => continue rest, x + acc
}
}

fn init {
println(sum(Cons(1, Cons(2, Cons(3, Nil)))))
}

While loop

In MoonBit, while loop can be used to execute a block of code repeatedly as long as a condition is true. The condition is evaluated before executing the block of code. The while loop is defined using the while keyword, followed by a condition and the loop body. The loop body is a sequence of statements. The loop body is executed as long as the condition is true.

while x == y {
expr1
}

The while statement doesn't yield anything; it only evaluates to () of unit type. MoonBit also provides the break and continue statements for controlling the flow of a loop.

let mut i = 0
let mut n = 0

while i < 10 {
i = i + 1
if (i == 3) {
continue
}

if (i == 8) {
break
}
n = n + i
}
// n = 1 + 2 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7
println(n) // outputs 25

The while loop can have an optional "continue" block after the loop condition, separated by comma. It is executed after the body of every iteration, before the condition of next iteration:

let mut i = 0
while i < 10, i = i + 1 {
println(i)
} // outputs 0 to 9

If there are multiple statements in the continue block, they must be wrapped in braces. continue statement in the loop body will not skip continue block. For example, the following code will output all odd numbers smaller than 10:

let mut i = 1
while i < 10, i = i + 1 {
if (i % 2 == 0) {
continue
}
println(i)
} // outputs 1 3 5 7 9

Built-in Data Structures

Boolean

MoonBit has a built-in boolean type, which has two values: true and false. The boolean type is used in conditional expressions and control structures.

let a = true
let b = false
let c = a && b
let d = a || b
let e = not(a)

Number

MoonBit supports numeric literals, including decimal, binary, octal, and hexadecimal numbers.

To improve readability, you may place underscores in the middle of numeric literals such as 1_000_000. Note that underscores can be placed anywhere within a number, not just every three digits.

  • There is nothing surprising about decimal numbers.
let a = 1234
let b = 1_000_000 + a
let large_num = 9_223_372_036_854_775_807L // Integers of the Int64 type must have an 'L' as a suffix
  • A binary number has a leading zero followed by a letter "B", i.e. 0b/0B. Note that the digits after 0b/0B must be 0 or 1.
let bin =  0b110010
let another_bin = 0B110010
  • An octal number has a leading zero followed by a letter "O", i.e. 0o/0O. Note that the digits after 0o/0O must be in the range from 0 through 7:
let octal = 0o1234
let another_octal = 0O1234
  • A hexadecimal number has a leading zero followed by a letter "X", i.e. 0x/0X. Note that the digits after the 0x/0X must be in the range 0123456789ABCDEF.
let hex = 0XA
let another_hex = 0xA

String

String interpolation is a powerful feature in MoonBit that enables you to substitute variables within interpolated strings. This feature simplifies the process of constructing dynamic strings by directly embedding variable values into the text.

fn init {
  let x = 42
  print("The answer is \(x)")
}

Variables used for string interpolation must support the to_string method.

Tuple

A tuple is a collection of finite values constructed using round brackets () with the elements separated by commas ,. The order of elements matters; for example, (1,true) and (true,1) have different types. Here's an example:

fn pack(a: Bool, b: Int, c: String, d: Double) -> (Bool, Int, String, Double) {
    (a, b, c, d)
}
fn init {
    let quad = pack(false, 100, "text", 3.14)
    let (bool_val, int_val, str, float_val) = quad
}

Tuples can be accessed via pattern matching or index:

fn f(t : (Int, Int)) {
  let (x1, y1) = t // access via pattern matching
  // access via index
  let x2 = t.0
  let y2 = t.1
  if (x1 == x2 && y1 == y2) {
    print("yes")
  } else {
    print("no")
  }
}

fn init {
  f((1, 2))
}

Array

An array is a finite sequence of values constructed using square brackets [], with elements separated by commas ,. For example:

let array = [1, 2, 3, 4]

You can use array[x] to refer to the xth element. The index starts from zero.

fn init {
  let array = [1, 2, 3, 4]
  let a = array[2]
  array[3] = 5
  let b = a + array[3]
  print(b) // prints 8
}

Variable Binding

A variable can be declared as mutable or immutable using let mut or let, respectively. A mutable variable can be reassigned to a new value, while an immutable one cannot.

let zero = 0

fn init {
  let mut i = 10
  i = 20
  print(i + zero)
}

Data Types

There are two ways to create new data types: struct and enum.

Struct

In MoonBit, structs are similar to tuples, but their fields are indexed by field names. A struct can be constructed using a struct literal, which is composed of a set of labeled values and delimited with curly brackets. The type of a struct literal can be automatically inferred if its fields exactly match the type definition. A field can be accessed using the dot syntax s.f. If a field is marked as mutable using the keyword mut, it can be assigned a new value.

struct User {
  id: Int
  name: String
  mut email: String
}

fn init {
  let u = { id: 0, name: "John Doe", email: "john@doe.com" }
  u.email = "john@doe.name"
  print(u.id)
  print(u.name)
  print(u.email)
}

Note that you can also include methods associated with your record type, for example:

struct Stack {
mut elems: List[Int]
push: (Int) -> Unit
pop: () -> Int
}

Constructing Struct with Shorthand

If you already have some variable like name and email, it's redundant to repeat those name when constructing a struct:

fn init{
let name = "john"
let email = "john@doe.com"
let u = { id: 0, name: name, email: email }
}

You can use shorthand instead, it behaves exactly the same.

fn init{
let name = "john"
let email = "john@doe.com"
let u = { id: 0, name, email }
}

Struct Update Syntax

It's useful to create a new struct based on an existing one, but with some fields updated.

struct User {
id: Int
name: String
email: String
}

fn to_string(self : User) -> String {
"{ id: " + self.id.to_string() +
", name: " + self.name +
", email: " + self.email + " }"
}

fn init {
let user = { id: 0, name: "John Doe", email: "john@doe.com" }
let updated_user = { ..user, email: "john@doe.name" }
println(user) // output: { id: 0, name: John Doe, email: john@doe.com }
println(updated_user) // output: { id: 0, name: John Doe, email: john@doe.name }
}

Enum

Enum types are similar to algebraic data types in functional languages. An enum can have a set of cases. Additionally, every case can specify associated values of different types, similar to a tuple. The label for every case must be capitalized, which is called a data constructor. An enum can be constructed by calling a data constructor with arguments of specified types. The construction of an enum must be annotated with a type. An enum can be destructed by pattern matching, and the associated values can be bound to variables that are specified in each pattern.

enum List {
  Nil
  Cons (Int, List)
}

fn print_list(l: List) {
  match l {
    Nil => print("nil")
    Cons(x, xs) => {
      print(x)
      print(",")
      print_list(xs)
    }
  }
}

fn init {
  let l: List = Cons(1, Cons(2, Nil))
  print_list(l)
}

Newtype

MoonBit supports a special kind of enum called newtype, which is used to create a new type from an existing type. A newtype can have only one case, and the case can have only one associated value.

type UserId Int
type UserName String

The name of the newtype is both a type and a data constructor. The construction and destruction of a newtype follow the same rules as those of an enum.

fn init {
let id: UserId = UserId(1)
let name: UserName = UserName("John Doe")
let UserId(uid) = id
let UserName(uname) = name
println(uid)
println(uname)
}

Additionally, the value of a newtype can be accessed via the dot syntax.

fn init {
let id: UserId = UserId(1)
let uid = id.0
println(uid)
}

Pattern Matching

We have shown a use case of pattern matching for enums, but pattern matching is not restricted to enums. For example, we can also match expressions against Boolean values, numbers, characters, strings, tuples, arrays, and struct literals. Since there is only one case for those types other than enums, we can pattern match them using let binding instead of match expressions. Note that the scope of bound variables in match is limited to the case where the variable is introduced, while let binding will introduce every variable to the current scope. Furthermore, we can use underscores _ as wildcards for the values we don't care about, use .. to ignore remaining fields of struct or elements of array.

let id = match u {
{ id: id, name: _, email: _ } => id
}
// is equivalent to
let { id: id, name: _, email: _ } = u
// or
let { id: id, ..} = u
let ary = [1,2,3,4]
let [a, b, ..] = ary // a = 1, b = 2
let [.., a, b] = ary // a = 3, b = 4

There are some other useful constructs in pattern matching. For example, we can use as to give a name to some pattern, and we can use | to match several cases at once. A variable name can only be bound once in a single pattern, and the same set of variables should be bound on both sides of | patterns.

match expr {
e as Lit(n) => ...
Add(e1, e2) | Mul(e1, e2) => ...
_ => ...
}

Generics

Generics are supported in top-level function and data type definitions. Type parameters can be introduced within square brackets. We can rewrite the aforementioned data type List to add a type parameter T to obtain a generic version of lists. We can then define generic functions over lists like map and reduce.

enum List[T] {
Nil
Cons(T, List[T])
}

fn map[S, T](self: List[S], f: (S) -> T) -> List[T] {
match self {
Nil => Nil
Cons(x, xs) => Cons(f(x), map(xs, f))
}
}

fn reduce[S, T](self: List[S], op: (T, S) -> T, init: T) -> T {
match self {
Nil => init
Cons(x, xs) => reduce(xs, op, op(init, x))
}
}

Access Control

By default, all function definitions and variable bindings are invisible to other packages; types without modifiers are abstract data types, whose name is exported but the internals are invisible. This design prevents unintended exposure of implementation details. You can use the pub modifier before type/enum/struct/let or top-level function to make them fully visible, or put priv before type/enum/struct to make it fully invisible to other packages. You can also use pub or priv before field names to obtain finer-grained access control. However, it is important to note that:

  • Struct fields cannot be defined as pub within an abstract or private struct since it makes no sense.
  • Enum constructors do not have individual visibility so you cannot use pub or priv before them.
struct R1 {       // abstract data type by default
x: Int // implicitly private field
pub y: Int // ERROR: `pub` field found in an abstract type!
priv z: Int // WARNING: `priv` is redundant!
}

pub struct R2 { // explicitly public struct
x: Int // implicitly public field
pub y: Int // WARNING: `pub` is redundant!
priv z: Int // explicitly private field
}

priv struct R3 { // explicitly private struct
x: Int // implicitly private field
pub y: Int // ERROR: `pub` field found in a private type!
priv z: Int // WARNING: `priv` is redundant!
}

enum T1 { // abstract data type by default
A(Int) // implicitly private variant
pub B(Int) // ERROR: no individual visibility!
priv C(Int) // ERROR: no individual visibility!
}

pub enum T2 { // explicitly public enum
A(Int) // implicitly public variant
pub B(Int) // ERROR: no individual visibility!
priv C(Int) // ERROR: no individual visibility!
}

priv enum T3 { // explicitly private enum
A(Int) // implicitly private variant
pub B(Int) // ERROR: no individual visibility!
priv C(Int) // ERROR: no individual visibility!
}

Another useful feature supported in MoonBit is pub(readonly) types, which are inspired by private types in OCaml. In short, values of pub(readonly) types can be destructed by pattern matching and the dot syntax, but cannot be constructed or mutated in other packages. Note that there is no restriction within the same package where pub(readonly) types are defined.

// Package A
pub(readonly) struct RO {
field: Int
}
fn init {
let r = { field: 4 } // OK
let r = { ..r, field: 8 } // OK
}

// Package B
fn print(r : RO) {
print("{ field: ")
print(r.field) // OK
print(" }")
}
fn init {
let r : RO = { field: 4 } // ERROR: Cannot create values of the public read-only type RO!
let r = { ..r, field: 8 } // ERROR: Cannot mutate a public read-only field!
}

Access control in MoonBit adheres to the principle that a pub type, function, or variable cannot be defined in terms of a private type. This is because the private type may not be accessible everywhere that the pub entity is used. MoonBit incorporates sanity checks to prevent the occurrence of use cases that violate this principle.

pub struct S {
x: T1 // OK
y: T2 // OK
z: T3 // ERROR: public field has private type `T3`!
}

// ERROR: public function has private parameter type `T3`!
pub fn f1(_x: T3) -> T1 { T1::A(0) }
// ERROR: public function has private return type `T3`!
pub fn f2(_x: T1) -> T3 { T3::A(0) }
// OK
pub fn f3(_x: T1) -> T1 { T1::A(0) }

pub let a: T3 // ERROR: public variable has private type `T3`!

Method system

MoonBit supports methods in a different way from traditional object-oriented languages. A method in MoonBit is just a toplevel function associated with a type constructor. Methods can be defined using the syntax fn TypeName::method_name(...) -> ...:

enum MyList[X] {
Nil,
Cons(X, MyList[X])
}

fn MyList::map[X, Y](xs: MyList[X], f: (X) -> Y) -> MyList[Y] { ... }
fn MyList::concat[X](xs: MyList[MyList[X]]) -> MyList[X] { ... }

As a convenient shorthand, when the first parameter of a function is named self, MoonBit automatically defines the function as a method of the type of self:

fn map[X, Y](self: MyList[X], f: (X) -> Y) -> List[Y] { ... }
// equivalent to
fn MyList::map[X, Y](xs: MyList[X], f: (X) -> Y) -> List[Y] { ... }

Methods are just regular functions owned by a type constructor. So when there is no ambiguity, methods can be called using regular function call syntax directly:

fn init {
let xs: MyList[MyList[_]] = ...
let ys = concat(xs)
}

Unlike regular functions, methods support overloading: different types can define methods of the same name. If there are multiple methods of the same name (but for different types) in scope, one can still call them by explicitly adding a TypeName:: prefix:

struct T1 { x1: Int }
fn T1::default() -> { { x1: 0 } }

struct T2 { x2: Int }
fn T2::default() -> { { x2: 0 } }

fn init {
// default() is ambiguous!
let t1 = T1::default() // ok
let t2 = T2::default() // ok
}

When the first parameter of a method is also the type it belongs to, methods can be called using dot syntax x.method(...). MoonBit automatically finds the correct method based on the type of x, there is no need to write the type name and even the package name of the method:

// a package named @list
enum List[X] { ... }
fn List::length[X](xs: List[X]) -> Int { ... }

// another package that uses @list
fn init {
let xs: @list.List[_] = ...
debug(xs.length()) // always work
debug(@list.List::length(xs)) // always work, but verbose
debug(@list.length(xs)) // simpler, but only possible when there is no ambiguity in @list
}

Operator Overloading

MoonBit supports operator overloading of builtin operators via methods. The method name corresponding to a operator <op> is op_<op>. For example:

struct T {
x:Int
} derive(Debug)

fn op_add(self: T, other: T) -> T {
{ x: self.x + other.x }
}

fn init {
let a = { x: 0 }
let b = { x: 2 }
debug(a + b)
}

Currently, the following operators can be overloaded:

operator namemethod name
+op_add
-op_sub
*op_mul
/op_div
%op_mod
-(unary)op_neg
_[_](get item)op_get
_[_] = _(set item)op_set

Pipe operator

MoonBit provides a convenient pipe operator |>, which can be used to chain regular function calls:

fn init {
x |> f // equivalent to f(x)
x |> f(y) // equivalent to f(x, y)
initial
|> function1
|> function2(other_arguments)
}

Trait system

MoonBit features a structural trait system for overloading/ad-hoc polymorphism. Traits can be declared as follows:

trait I {
method(...) -> ...
}

In the body of a trait definition, a special type Self is used to refer to the type that implements the trait.

There is no need to implement a trait explicitly. Types with the required methods automatically implements a trait. For example, the following trait:

trait Show {
to_string(Self) -> String
}

is automatically implemented by builtin types such as Int and Double.

When declaring a generic function, the type parameters can be annotated with the traits they should implement, allowing the definition of constrained generic functions. For example:

trait Number {
op_add(Self, Self) -> Self
op_mul(Self, Self) -> Self
}

fn square[N: Number](x: N) -> N {
x * x
}

Without the Number requirement, the expression x * x in square will result in a method/operator not found error. Now, the function square can be called with any type that implements Number, for example:

fn init {
debug(square(2)) // 4
debug(square(1.5)) // 2.25
debug(square({ x: 2, y: 3 })) // (4, 9)
}

struct Point {
x: Int
y: Int
} derive(Debug)

fn op_add(self: Point, other: Point) -> Point {
{ x: self.x + other.x, y: self.y + other.y }
}

fn op_mul(self: Point, other: Point) -> Point {
{ x: self.x * other.x, y: self.y * other.y }
}

Methods of a trait can be called directly via Trait::method. MoonBit will infer the type of Self and check if Self indeed implements Trait, for example:

fn init {
println(Show::to_string(42))
debug(Compare::compare(1.0, 2.5))
}

MoonBit provides the following useful builtin traits:

trait Eq {
op_equal(Self, Self) -> Bool
}

trait Compare {
// `0` for equal, `-1` for smaller, `1` for greater
op_equal(Self, Self) -> Int
}

trait Hash {
hash(Self) -> Int
}

trait Show {
to_string(Self) -> String
}

trait Default {
default() -> Self
}

trait Debug {
// write debug information of [self] to a buffer
debug_write(Self, Buffer)
}

Access control of methods and extension methods

To make the trait system coherent (i.e. there is a globally unique implementation for every Type: Trait pair), and prevent third-party packages from modifying behavior of existing programs by accident, only the the package that defines a type can define methods for it. So one cannot define new methods or override old methods for builtin and foreign types.

However, it is often useful to extend the functionality of an existing type. So MoonBit provides a mechanism called extension method, defined using the syntax fn Trait::method_name(...) -> .... Extension methods extend the functionality of an existing type by implementing a trait. For example, to implement a new trait ToMyBinaryProtocol for builtin types, one can (and must) use extension methods:

trait ToMyBinaryProtocol {
to_my_binary_protocol(Self, Buffer)
}

fn ToMyBinaryProtocol::to_my_binary_protocol(x: Int, b: Buffer) { ... }
fn ToMyBinaryProtocol::to_my_binary_protocol(x: Double, b: Buffer) { ... }
fn ToMyBinaryProtocol::to_my_binary_protocol(x: String, b: Buffer) { ... }

When searching for the implementation of a trait, extension methods have a higher priority, so they can be used to override ordinary methods with undesirable behavior. Extension methods can only be used to implement the specified trait. They cannot be called directly like ordinary methods. Furthermore, only the package of the type or the package of the trait can implement extension methods. For example, only @pkg1 and @pkg2 are allowed to implement an extension method @pkg1.Trait::f for type @pkg2.Type. This restriction ensures that MoonBit's trait system is still coherent with the extra flexibility of extension methods.

To involke an extension method directly, use the Trait::method syntax.

trait MyTrait {
f(Self)
}

fn MyTrait::f(self: Int) {
println("Got Int \(self)!")
}

fn init {
MyTrait::f(42)
}

Automatically derive builtin traits

MoonBit can automatically derive implementations for some builtin traits:

struct T {
x: Int
y: Int
} derive(Eq, Compare, Debug, Default)

fn init {
let t1 = T::default()
let t2 = { x: 1, y: 1 }
debug(t1) // {x: 0, y: 0}
debug(t2) // {x: 1, y: 1}
debug(t1 == t2) // false
debug(t1 < t2) // true
}

Trait objects

MoonBit supports runtime polymorphism via trait objects. If t is of type T, which implements trait I, one can pack the methods of T that implements I, together with t, into a runtime object via t as I. Trait object erases the concrete type of a value, so objects created from different concrete types can be put in the same data structure and handled uniformly:

trait Animal {
speak(Self)
}

type Duck String
fn Duck::make(name: String) -> Duck { Duck(name) }
fn speak(self: Duck) {
println(self.0 + ": quak!")
}

type Fox String
fn Fox::make(name: String) -> Fox { Fox(name) }
fn Fox::speak(_self: Fox) {
println("What does the fox say?")
}

fn init {
let duck1 = Duck::make("duck1")
let duck2 = Duck::make("duck2")
let fox1 = Fox::make("fox1")
let animals = [ duck1 as Animal, duck2 as Animal, fox1 as Animal ]
let mut i = 0
while i < animals.length(), i = i + 1 {
animals[i].speak()
}
}

Not all traits can be used to create objects. "object-safe" traits' methods must satisfy the following conditions:

  • Self must be the first parameter of a method
  • There must be only one occurence of Self in the type of the method (i.e. the first parameter)

The question operator

MoonBit features a convenient ? operator for error handling. The ? postfix operator can be applied to expressions of type Option or Result. When applied to expression t : Option[T], t? is equivalent to:

match t {
None => { return None }
Some(x) => x
}

When applied to expression t: Result[T, E], t? is equivalent to:

match t {
Err(err) => { return Err(err) }
Ok(x) => x
}

The question operator can be used to combine codes that may fail or error elegantly:

fn may_fail() -> Option[Int] { ... }

fn f() -> Option[Int] {
let x = may_fail()?
let y = may_fail()?.lsr(1) + 1
if y == 0 { return None }
Some(x / y)
}

fn may_error() -> Result[Int, String] { ... }

fn g() -> Result[Int, String] {
let x = may_error()?
let y = may_error()? * 2
if y == 0 { return Err("divide by zero") }
Ok(x / y)
}

MoonBit's build system

The introduction to the build system is available at MoonBit's Build System Tutorial.