Separate Compilation

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Proposal: A Separate Compilation Extension to Standard ML, David Swasey, Tom Murphy VII, Karl Crary, Robert Harper.

Abstract: We present an extension to Standard ML, called SMLSC, to support separate compilation. The system gives meaning to individual program fragments, called units. Units may depend on one another in a way specified by the programmer. A dependency may be mediated by an interface (the type of a unit); if so, the units can be compiled separately. Otherwise, they must be compiled in sequence. We also propose a methodology for programming in SMLSC that reflects code development practice and avoids syntactic repetition of interfaces. The language is given a formal semantics, and we argue that this semantics is implementable in a variety of compilers.

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