# Disco files and the disco REPL¶

For anything beyond simple one-off calculations that can be entered at the disco prompt, disco definitions may be stored in a file which can be loaded into the REPL.

## Disco files¶

Disco files typically end in .disco. Here is a simple example:

example/basics.disco
approx_pi : Rational
approx_pi = 22/7

increment : N -> N
increment n = n + 1


This file contains definitions for approx_pi and increment. Each definition consists of a type signature of the form <name> : <type>, followed by an equality of the form <name> = <expression>. Both parts of a definition are required; in particular, if you omit a type signature, disco will complain that the name is not defined. The example file shown above contains two definitions: approx_pi is defined to be the Rational number $$22/7$$, and increment is defined to be the function which outputs one more than its natural number input. (Functions and the syntax for defining them will be covered in much more detail in an upcoming section of the tutorial.)

The order of definitions in a .disco file does not matter; each definition may refer to any other definition in the whole file.

To load the definitions in a file into the disco REPL, you can use the :load command. After successfully loading a file, all the names defined in the file are available for use. For example:

Disco> :load example/basics.disco
Disco> approx_pi
22/7
Disco> increment 3
4
Disco> :type increment
increment : ℕ → ℕ
Disco> approx_pi + increment 17
148/7


Comments in disco can be written in one of two ways, using the same syntax as Haskell. Two consecutive hyphens -- will cause disco to ignore everything until the next newline character; {- ... -} creates a multi-line comment causing disco to ignore everything in between {- and -}.

example/comment.disco
-- This is a comment
approx_pi : Rational
approx_pi = 22/7   -- an OK approximation

{- The following function is very complicated
and took about three weeks to write.
Don't laugh.
-}
increment : N -> N
increment n {- the input -} = n + 1 {- one more than the input -}


Comments can be placed anywhere and are literally ignored by disco. In many cases, however, the purpose of a comment is to provide documentation for a function. In this case, disco supports special syntax for documentation, which must be placed before the type signature of a definition. Each line of documentation must begin with ||| (three vertical bars).

example/doc.disco
||| A reasonable approximation of pi.
approx_pi : Rational
approx_pi = 22/7   -- an OK approximation

||| Take a natural number as input, and return the natural
||| number which is one greater.
|||
||| Should not be used while operating heavy machinery.
-- This comment will be ignored.
increment : N -> N
increment n {- the input -} = n + 1 {- one more than the input -}

fizz : N
fizz = 1


When this file is loaded into the disco REPL, we can use the :doc command to see the documentation associated with each name.

Disco> :load example/doc.disco
Disco> :doc approx_pi
approx_pi : ℚ

A reasonable approximation of pi.

Disco> :doc increment
increment : ℕ → ℕ

Take a natural number as input, and return the natural
number which is one greater.

Should not be used while operating heavy machinery.

Disco> :doc fizz
fizz : ℕ


Since fizz does not have any associated documentation, the :doc command simply shows its type.

## Other REPL commands¶

The disco REPL has a few other commands which are useful for disco developers.

• :parse shows the fully parsed form of an expression.

Disco> :parse 2 + [3,4 : Int]
TBin Add (TNat 2) (TList [TNat 3,TAscr (TNat 4) TyZ] Nothing)

• :desugar shows the desugared core language term corresponding to an expression.

Disco> :desugar [3,4]
CCons 1 [CNum Fraction (3 % 1),CCons 1 [CNum Fraction (4 % 1),CCons 0 []]]

• :pretty shows the pretty-printed form of a term (without typechecking it).

Disco> :pretty 2 + [3,4:Int]
2 + [3, (4 : ℤ)]