NESL Quick Reference

For more information see the NESLManual or the NESL User's Guide.

NESL is not case sensitive. In the syntax below we use uppercase to present literal symbols.

Syntax Example
FUNCTION name(args) = exp ; FUNCTION double(a) = 2*a;
IF e1 THEN e2 ELSE e3 IF (a > 22) THEN a ELSE 5*a
LET binding* IN exp LET a = b*6;
IN a + 3
{e1 : pattern IN e2} {a + 22 : a IN [2, 1, 9]}
{pattern IN e1 | e2} {a IN [2, 1, 9] | a < 8}
{e1 : p1 IN e2 ; p2 in e3} {a + b : a IN [2,1]; b IN [7,11]}

Scalar Functions
logical not or and xor nor nand
comparison == /= < > <= >=
predicates plusp minusp zerop oddp evenp
arithmetic + - * / rem abs max min
lshift rshift
sqrt isqrt ln log exp expt
sin cos tan asin acos atan
sinh cosh tanh
conversion btoi code_char char_code
float ceil floor trunc round
random numbers rand rand_seed
constants pi max_int min_int

Basic Sequence Functions
Basic Operations Description Work Depth
#a Length of a O(1) O(1)
a[i] ith element of a O(1) O(1)
dist(a,n) Create sequence of length n with a in each element. O(n) O(1)
zip(a,b) Elementwise zip two sequences together into a sequence of pairs. O(n) O(1)
[s:e] Create sequence of integers from s to e (not inclusive of e) O(e-s) O(1)
[s:e:d] Same as [s:e] but with a stride d. O((e-s)/d) O(1)
plus_scan(a) Execute a scan on a using the + operator O(n) O(log n)
min_scan(a) Execute a scan on a using the minimum operator O(n) O(log n)
max_scan(a) Execute a scan on a using the maximum operator O(n) O(log n)
or_scan(a) Execute a scan on a using the or operator O(n) O(log n)
and_scan(a) Execute a scan on a using the and operator O(n) O(log n)
sum(a) Sum the elements of a O(n) O(log n)
max_val(a) Return maximum value of a O(n) O(log n)
min_val(a) Return minimum value of a O(n) O(log n)
any(a) Return true if any values of a are true. O(n) O(log n)
all(a) Return true only if all values of a are true. O(n) O(log n)
count(a) Count number of true values in a. O(n) O(log n)
max_index(a) Return position (index) of maximum value. O(n) O(log n)
min_index(a) Return position (index) of minimum value. O(n) O(log n)
Reordering Functions
read(a, i) Read values in a from indices i O(n) O(1)
write(a, iv_pairs) Write values in a using integer values pairs in iv_pairs O(#iv_pairs)* O(1)
permute(a,i) Permute elements in a to indices in i O(n) O(1)
rotate(a,i) Rotate sequence a by i locations O(n) O(1)
reverse(a) Reverse order of sequence a. O(n) O(1)
drop(a,i) Drop first i elements of a. O(#a-i) O(1)
take(a,i) Take first i elements of a. O(i) O(1)
odd_elts(a) Return the odd elements of a O(n) O(1)
even_elts(a) Return the even elements of a O(n) O(1)
interleave(a,b) Interleave the elements of a and b. O(n) O(1)
subseq(a,i,j) Return the subsequence of a from position i to j (not inclusive of j) O(j-i) O(1)
a -> i Same as read(a, i) O(#i) O(1)
a <- iv_pairs Same as write(a, iv_pairs) O(#iv_pairs)* O(1)
flatten(a) Flatten a nested sequence by one level. O(#a) O(1)
partition(a,l) Partition a sequence into a nested sequence using lengths in l O(#a) O(1)
bottop(a) Split a sequence in two and return as nested sequence. O(n) O(1)
* Note that write(a, iv_pairs) (and a <- iv_pairs) take O(#iv_pairs) time if the destination is the only copy that is referenced, otherwise it takes time O(#a).

Other functions

See the the language definition for the documentation on the functions listed below, or type the function name after describe in the window that appears with each group and submit (make sure the line ends with a semicolon).

Other sequence functions

These are more complex sequence functions. The depth complexities of these functions are not necessarily O(1).

  sort rank collect int_collect kth_smallest find
  search_for_subseqs remove_duplicates mark_duplicates
  union intersection name

  eql hash select identity

Operations on strings

  @ exp_string ||
  linify wordify 
  lowercase uppercase string_eql 
  parse_int parse_float

Input and Output

Of the functions listed in this section, only print_char, print_string, write_char, write_string, and write_check can be called in parallel.
  print_char print_string
  write_object_to_file  write_string_to_file
  read_object_from_file read_string_from_file
  read_int_seq_from_file read_float_seq_from_file
  open_in_file open_out_file close_file 
  write_char write_string
  read_char read_string read_line read_word 
  open_check write_check read_check close_check
  nullstr stdin stdout stderr

Window functions

The functions in this section can be used for plotting data on an Xwindow display. The basic idea of these functions is that you create a window with the w_make_window command and then can add various features to the window. The most important features are boxes and buttons. A scale box can be used to create a virtual coordinate system on the window on which points, lines, rectangles and polygons can be drawn. A text box can be used to create a box in which text can be written. A button can be used along with the input functions to get information back from the window. In all the functions in this section colors are specified by one of
w_black, w_white, w_red, w_blue, w_green, w_cyan, w_yellow, w_magenta, w_pink, w_light_green, w_light_blue, w_purple, w_gray, w_dark_gray, w_orange.

  w_make_window w_kill_window
  w_add_box w_add_text_box w_add_button w_add_button_stack

  w_get_named_box w_reset_box_size w_clear_box
  w_bounds_from_box w_box_scale w_bounding_box

  w_draw_point w_draw_big_point w_draw_points 
  w_draw_segments w_draw_string w_draw_rectangle 
  w_shade_rectangle w_shade_polygon

  w_write_text_centered w_write_text_left w_write_paragraph
  w_get_input w_get_input_noblock w_get_button_input w_get_zoom_box

System calls

The functions in this section can be used to execute shell commands from within NESL.
  shell_command get_environment_variable spawn


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Guy Blelloch,