Shen in 15 Minutes
The Shen top level is a readevaluateprint loop as in all functional languages.
When you start it up, you get something this (depending on release and platform).
Shen, copyright (C) 20102015 Mark Tarver
www.shenlanguage.org, Shen 19
running under Common Lisp, implementation: SBCL
port 1.9 ported by Mark Tarver
(0) 
Unlike Lisp the quote (') is not used. Entering hello returns hello, so symbols
are implicitly quoted.
Shen, copyright (C) 20102015 Mark Tarver
www.shenlanguage.org, Shen 19
running under Common Lisp, implementation: SBCL
port 1.9 ported by Mark Tarver
(0) hello
hello 
Each input is numbered starting with 0.
An input is repeated by typing !n where n is a natural number. Shen will print the
nth input of the session and evaluate it. Typing !s where s is any series of symbols,
will cause Shen to print and then evaluate the last input whose main function symbol
begins with s. % works as ! except that the previous input(s) are printed off without
being evaluated.
Shen, copyright (C) 20102015 Mark Tarver
www.shenlanguage.org, Shen 19
running under Common Lisp, implementation: SBCL
port 1.9 ported by Mark Tarver
(0) hello
hello
(1) (* 7 8)
56
(2) !1
(* 7 8)
56
(3) !*
(* 7 8)
56
(4) %*
1. (* 7 8)
2. (* 7 8)
3. (* 7 8) 
Functions are applied in prefix form just like Lisp. Unlike Lisp, Shen is casesensitive, so b and B
are not treated as the same. = is the general equality relation (unlike Lisp where it is used for only numbers).
Unlike Lisp, Shen uses true and false as booleans. ^ breaks off input.
(4) (and true false)
false
(5) (or true false)
true
(6) (not true)
false
(7) (if true a b)
a
(8) (= 1 1)
true
(9) (= f ^
line read aborted 
Shen permits currying, and also partial applications, which both generate closures.
(10) ((* 7) 9)
63
(11) (* 7)
#FUNCTION :LAMBDA (#:Y18390) (multiply #:Y18389 #:Y18390) 
In lambda calculus, the identity function is (l x x). In Shen it is written (/. X X), and evaluates to a
closure. (/. X Y X) is acceptable shorthand for (l x (l y x)). In Shen an abstraction can always be used in place
of a function.
(12) (/. X X)
#FUNCTION :LAMBDA (X) X
(13) ((/. X X) 9)
9
(14) ((/. X Y Y) 6 7)
7
(15) ((/. X Y (* X Y)) 6 7)
42 
A list begins with a [ and ends with a ]. Spaces seperate items. cons, head and tail are standard. Note
that Shen includes an infix that works as Prolog. [1 2  [3]] = [1 2 3].
(16) [1 2 3]
[1 2 3]
(17) (= [1 (+ 1 1) 3] [1 2 3])
true
(18) (head [1])
1
(19) (tail [1])
[]
(20) (cons 1 [])
[1]
(21) [1 2  [3]]
[1 2 3] 
Suppose we have to define a function f that, if it receives 1 returns 0 and if it returns 0 returns 1.
In Shen this appears as a series of rewrite rules. If all rules fail an error is raised.
(22) (define f
0 > 1
1 > 0)
f
(23) (f 0)
1
(24) (f 1)
0
(25) (f 2)
partial function f;
track f? (y/n) 
Now lets look at an example using variables. We define factorial, this requires a variable, which in Shen
is any symbol beginning in uppercase.
(26) (define factorial
0 > 1
X > (* X (factorial ( X 1))))
factorial
(27) (factorial 6)
720 
Here are two list processing functions in Shen; one that totals a list and the other that splits a lists
into triples.
(28) (define total
[] > 0
[X  Y] > (+ X (total Y)))
total
(29) (define triples
[] > []
[W X Y  Z] > [[W X Y]  (triples Z)])
triples
(30) (total [12 45 28])
85
(31) (triples [1 2 3 4 5 6])
[[1 2 3] [4 5 6]] 
Patterns can be nonleft linear; repeated variables require equality. Shen supports
guards.
(32) (define id
X X > true
_ _ > false)
id
(33) (id 4 4)
true
(34) (define gter
X Y > X where (> X Y)
X Y > Y where (> Y X)
_ _ > ?)
gter
(35) (gter 4 5)
5
(36) (gter 14 5)
14
(37) (gter 14 14)
? 
Here is foldl in Shen. Note that if Shen is not running on a Lisp platform, then function may be
needed to disambiguate those symbol arguments that denote functions.
(38) (define foldl
F Z [] > Z
F Z [X  Y] > (foldl F (F Z X) Y))
foldl
(39) (foldl + 0 [1 2 3])
6
(40) (foldl (function +) 0 [1 2 3])
6 
load will load a Shen program.
(41) \* Here is a
multiline comment *\
\\ Here is a single line comment
(load "factorial.shen")
factorial
0.05s
loaded 
So far Shen looks like an untyped language (e.g. like SASL). Actually Shen does have type checking, but you
have to switch it on. (tc +) does it. The + shows that you are now working in a statically typed environment.
Shen will typecheck everything that is loaded or entered into the image. Like ML, mixed lists will not now be
accepted. (tc ) switches the typechecker back off.
(42) (tc +)
true
(43+) 123
123 : number
(44+) [1 a]
type error
(45+) (* 7)
# : (number > number)
(45+) [1 2 3]
[1 2 3] : (list number) 
The pair <1,2> is represented as (@p 1 2) in Shen. The functions 'fst' and 'snd' select the first and second
elements of a pair. (@p 1 2 3) is just shorthand for (@p 1 (@p 2 3)).
(46+) (@p 1 2)
(@p 1 2) : (number * number)
(47+) (fst (@p 1 2))
1 : number
(48+) (snd (@p 1 2))
2 : number
(49+) (@p 1 2 3)
(@p 1 (@p 2 3)) : (number * (number * number)) 
Shen is like Hope in requiring explicit types to be attached to functions. It supports polymorphism and
variables are allowed in types. You can use @p in a patterndirected manner in function definitions.
(50+) (define total
(list number) > number
[] > 0
[X  Y] > (+ X (total Y)))
total : ((list number) > number)
(51+) (define triples
(list A) > (list (list A))
[] > []
[W X Y  Z] > [[W X Y]  (triples Z)])
triples : (list A) > (list (list A))
(52+) (define swap
(A * B) > (B * A)
(@p X Y) > (@p Y X))
swap : ((A * B) > (B * A)) 
