Packages

Packages are sets of modules. Like modules, packages can import other packages specifying them in their configurations.

What composes a package?

The following entities compose packages.

  • Standard packages bundled in installation of the language
  • Remote repositories managed by version control systems (VCS)
    • Currently, the language supports only Git as a VCS.
  • Directories with package configuration files on file systems

During builds of packages, the language's build system automatically download and initialize their dependency packages based on their URLs.

Package types

There are 3 package types: application, library, and system. Those types are specified in package configuration files.

Application packages

Application packages build applications often as executable files. Every application package must have a main.pen module file at its top directory. The main module has a main function that receives an argument of a context type and returns a none type. The context type is a record type containing context values of system packages with their field names of package names. For example, given system packages named Http and Os, a main function looks like the following.

main = \(ctx context) none {
  s = fetch(ctx.Http, "https://pen-lang.org/")
  print(ctx.Os, s)

  none
}

Every application package must specify one and only one system package that links applications (e.g. the Os standard system package) in its package configuration file. However, application packages can specify system packages that do not link applications (e.g. the Http system package in the example above) as many as possible.

Library packages

Library packages contain functions and types that have no side effects. They are imported and used by other packages.

System packages

System packages contain functions and types that have side effects to provide system interfaces to application packages. The language currently provides the two standard system packages of Os and OsSync.

Although they can be imported by library packages as well as application packages, then they are expected not to cause any side effects.

If you want to write your own system packages, see Writing system packages.

Package configuration

Each package has its configuration file named pen.json in a JSON format at its top directory. The JSON file has the following fields.

NameRequiredDescription
typeYesPackage type (either application, library, or system)
dependenciesYesMap of package names to their URLs

Package URLs have different protocol schemes depending on where they are located.

  • Standard packages: pen
  • Git repositories: git
  • Directories on file systems: none

Examples

Application

{
  "type": "application",
  "dependencies": {
    "Os": "pen:///os",
    "Core": "pen:///core",
    "Foo": "git://github.com/foo/foo",
    "Bar": "../bar"
  }
}

Library

{
  "type": "library",
  "dependencies": {
    "Core": "pen:///core",
    "Foo": "git://github.com/foo/foo",
    "Bar": "../bar"
  }
}

System

{
  "type": "system",
  "dependencies": {
    "Core": "pen:///core",
    "Foo": "git://github.com/foo/foo",
    "Bar": "../bar"
  }
}