Re: [isabelle] Comparing Isabelle/Scala with scala-isabelle. Was: Isabelle code for getting in-memory representation (abstract syntax trees) for complete theory file (tree of loaded theories)

Exactly. Over 10 years I have given many talks and written many papers about
Isabelle/Scala in contrast to Isabelle/ML. The main idea:

  * Isabelle/Scala is for systems-programming / system integration

  * Isabelle/ML is for mathematical logic

Sometimes there is a bit of overlap, and some freedom to decide where things
happen. But when you start to do term operations in Isabelle/Scala it is
probably wrong.

Good. Then I got things right. So we have a clear separation of purposes between Isabelle/Scala and scala-isabelle.

Anythings that can be done in scala-isabelle can also be done in Isabelle/ML, of course. (And vice versa.) However, if due to the constraints of the project, we want to use Scala (or any other JVM language), then scala-isabelle would be the right choice.

For example, in scala-isabelle, you can directly and transparently work on
terms, cterms, thms, etc. (For example, I can do something like
"thm.proposition match { case Const("HOL.Trueprop", t) => do something with
term t }". (And references on the scala side to Isabelle values can get
automatically garbage collected etc.)
So why not do this in Isabelle/ML? It works much better. E.g. you have proper
antiquotations for the const name "HOL.Trueprop" above --- without that it is
not going to last very long.

There can be several reasons (it depends on the project):

About the antiquotation: This was just an illustrative example. You can also use antiquotations in Scala, so you could write something like term match { case term"?x ==> Trueprop ?y" => print(x); print(y) }.

Why give up static scopes and types by pretending that ML operations can
happen in Scala?

Since Scala has a rich type system on its own, there is no need to give up on those things. ML types can be mirrored on the Scala side.

Best wishes,

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