Announcement: Pint, an Erlang-based pi-calculus platform

Roger Price <>
Thu Aug 25 11:21:18 CEST 2005

The first public release of Pint, an Erlang-based pi-calculus platform is
now available at



Pint is a pi-calculus language platform which provides a translator
written in SML/NJ and a hardware emulator written in Erlang. The platform
is intended for investigation at the microprogramming level rather than
for use as yet another high level language.

The language is similar to, but simpler than, Vasconcelos' TyCO, or
Wojciechowski's Nomadic Pict which is based on Turner and Pierce's Pict;
it is automatically typed, asynchronous, higher-order, concurrent and
distributed. It is not deterministic or sequenced. It is non-linear and
has no polymorphism except for a few list operations. The semantics are
taken from Pict.

The Pint language includes document type definition facilities for
recursive element and attribute declarations but these are type based
rather than syntax based as in SGML/XML. Pint supports the Oasis
catalogue. The library provides a graphics system which offers
functionality similar to Erlang's GS through an interface based on passing
elements to six built-in paths. A demonstration microprogram simulates and
displays an ant raiding party.

The emulated hardware offers up to 2^28 hardware channels on which the
program's paths are to be placed. We show examples of programming for the
small footprint imposed by this hardware. The emulator provides trace and
debugging facilities and will operate at up to 10000 reductions per second
on a 1GHz PC. The translator, emulator and documentation, a 260 page book,
are GPLed.

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