Basic Storm

Basic Storm is one of two languages that are built into Storm by default. One of the design goals of Basic Storm is that it should match the features offered by the language-agnostic parts of Storm closely (these are described here). Therefore, Basic Storm is well suited to illustrate how Storm works in general, and to explore Storm itself.

Basic Storm itself is an imperative language, with syntax that resembles C++ and Java. As such, developers that are familiar with these languages are likely to be able to pick up Basic Storm quickly. Furthermore, Basic Storm aims to be a memory-safe language. References may not be null by default, and any references that may contain null need to be explicitly checked for null before they can be accessed. To achieve this, Basic Storm guarantees that variables are properly initialized before they can be accessed (especially in constructors).

Apart from closely matching the capabilities of Storm itself, Basic Storm have two additional qualities that illustrate the possibilities of the platform. First, Basic Storm is extensible. This means that it is possible to create syntax extensions for Basic Storm as libraries. The section on libraries contain a few examples of such libraries. Secondly, it can be used as a compilation target for other languages. Since all components of the language Basic Storm are exposed in the name tree, they are accessible from other languages in the system. Therefore, there are multiple options when developing a new language in the system. The new language may either chose to generate code in the intermediate representation directly. This is what Basic Storm does. It might also chose to emit an abstract syntax tree that can be understood by Basic Storm, and utilize the code generation abilities of Basic Storm to do the actual code generation.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that Basic Storm is not special to Storm itself in any way except that it is included with Storm by default. This means that it is possible to implement an equaly capable language in any language in Storm itself.

The remainder of this section is dedicated to introducing the language Basic Storm and its features. The section will end by providing an overview of some of the most important parts of the language implementation. This is useful when creating language extensions to Basic Storm, or when using Basic Storm as a target for code generation.