How to Contribute

Yay, we are happy that you want to contribute to the language. Here is how you get started:

Building Effekt

While this document might age and become outdated, the most current and up-to-date instructions can always be found in the Github Actions workflow file. It might be a bit tricky to read but does contain all the necessary information.

If you notice that something does not work as expected, please consider opening an issue. Also feel free to update this page on Github and subsequently open a pull request.

Software Requirements

You need to have the following software installed to build and use Effekt:

Depending on the backend you want to use / work on, you also need:

  • JS backend (default): Node.js (>= 10) and npm
  • Chez-Scheme backend: Chez Scheme
  • LLVM backend (wip): LLVM > 12 and gcc

Why three package management tools? The main build tool we use is sbt, but we use Maven to extract dependencies and aggregate license files of the library dependencies. Finally, we use npm simply as a way to deploy the language as an npm package.

Compiling the Effekt Compiler

Great that you have made it this far! We can now finally compile the Effekt project. To do so, first clone the repository as well as all of its submodule dependencies:

$ git clone --recurse-submodules

Note: We recommend you to use the following git config that will always keep the submodules in sync with the current branch that you are working on:

git config --global submodule.recurse true

If despite your best efforts the submodule still resides in an undesirable state, you can always re-initialize it: $ rm -rf kiama/ && git submodule update

Inside the repository’s root, enter an sbt shell, select your platform of choice and run all unit tests to verify your setup:

$ cd effekt
$ sbt
sbt:root> project effektJVM
sbt:effekt> test

Ignoring a handful of spurious warnings, a wall of green text should indicate all tests passing.

As mentioned before, the Effekt compiler can be run as a Java program, but also as a JavaScript program. Hence, we need a slightly complicated Cross-build setup with two projects: effektJVM and effektJS.

Locally Installing your Compiler Build

The easiest way to install your version of Effekt is by running

$ sbt
sbt:root> project effektJVM
sbt:effekt> install

Please note that this also requires mvn to generate license files.

Generating the Effekt Binary

The Effekt binary is actually just a simple wrapper that invokes java -jar effekt.jar. To generate the jar file and assemble everything simply run:

$ sbt deploy

Afterwards, you can find the effekt.jar in the bin/ directory.

Working on the “Standard Library”

The Effekt standard library is still in its infancy. If you want to work on it, we recommend the following workflow: Check out the effekt repository and start the repl in the project directory. This will enable using the library in folder lib instead of the bundled one.

You can now go ahead and create a test file in examples that uses your new / improved library module, like

module examples/mynewmoduletester

import io/mynewmodule

def main() = mynewfunction()

This makes sure that you are always interacting with the most up-to-date version of the standard library you are currently working on.