Description of the Albatross Programming Language

Updated a month ago

Albatross Programming Language

Version: 0.3

Author: Helmut Brandl (helmut dot brandl at gmx dot net)

Download: http://sourceforge.net/projects/albatross-lang

Website: http://albatross-lang.sourceforge.net

What is Albatross?

Albatross is a programming language which can be verified statically. You write programs in Albatross and prove them to be correct in the same language.

What is a correct program? A program is correct if it is consistent with its specification. Specifications in Albatross are assertions which express correctness conditions. Assertions are boolean expressions in predicate logic.

A verified Albatross program has as proof for each assertion. The proof is generated by the compiler.

But since assertions are expressed in predicate logic and predicate logic is not decidable for arbitrary expressions the theorem prover in the Albatross compiler cannot prove all valid assertions.

Therefore the programmer has to provide the proof steps which cannot be done by the compiler automatically. The automation features have been designed with the following philosophy:

  • The compiler does all low level work that can be done efficiently without entering a huge search space.

  • The programmer has to provide the more intelligent steps which require some creativity.

Because of this philosophy the Albatross compiler is something between a proof assistant and a theorem prover.