[mercury-announce] Announcing Mercury 0.9

Fergus Henderson fjh at cs.mu.OZ.AU
Sun Dec 19 00:52:17 AEDT 1999

We are pleased to announce the release of version 0.9 of the Mercury system.

Mercury is a general-purpose programming language, designed and
implemented by a group of researchers at the University of Melbourne,
Australia.  Mercury is based on the paradigm of purely declarative
programming, and was designed to be useful for the development of large
and robust real-world applications.  It improves on existing logic
programming languages by providing increased productivity, reliability
and efficiency, and by avoiding the need for non-logical program
constructs.  Mercury provides the traditional logic programming syntax,
but also allows the syntactic convenience of user-defined functions,
smoothly integrating logic and functional programming into a single

For more information about Mercury, see the Mercury WWW page at
<http://www.cs.mu.oz.au/mercury/>.  For information about where
you can download Mercury 0.9, see the end of this message.

The following list contains a brief summary of the major
changes between release 0.8.1 and release 0.9.  For full details,
see <http://www.cs.mu.oz.au/mercury/download/release-0.9.html>
or the NEWS file in the distribution.

Changes to the Mercury language:
* The Mercury type system now supports existentially quantified types.
* We now allow abstract instance declarations.
* We now support a simple form of user-defined infix operators.

Changes to the Mercury standard library:
* Exception handling support is now part of the standard library.
* There are two new standard library modules `time' and `gc'.
* We've added function versions of many of the predicates in the
  Mercury standard library.

New library packages in the Mercury extras distribution:
* We've added support for optional lazy evaluation.
* The extras distribution now includes support for dynamic linking.
* We've added some bindings to POSIX.3 functionality.

Changes to the Mercury implementation:
* The Mercury debugger (mdb) is much improved.
  It now includes support for interactive queries, command-line editing
  and command-line history, display of source line numbers, and
  setting breakpoints on source line numbers.
  The GNU Emacs interface provides a source-linked debugger.
* We've removed the support for using a Prolog debugger on Mercury programs.
* Mmake, the Mercury make tool, now includes better support for
  installing libraries.
* We've added support for user-guided type specialization.
* Numerous bug fixes.

The Mercury distribution is available via anonymous ftp or WWW
from the following locations:


We hope to be able to make it available at the following sites
too, eventually:

	Sunsite and mirrors: (source distribution only)




The home page of the project on the Web is <http://www.cs.mu.oz.au/mercury/>.

The Mercury Team <http://www.cs.mu.oz.au/mercury/contact/people.html>
Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering
The University of Melbourne, Australia
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