BQN specification

This document, and the others in this directory (linked in the list below) make up the pre-versioning BQN specification. The specification differs from the documentation in that its purpose is only to describe the exact details of BQN's operation in the most quickly accessible way, rather than to explain the central ideas of BQN functionality and how it might be used. The core of BQN, which excludes system-provided values, is now almost completely specified. Planned changes to the specification are tracked on this page.

Under this specification, a language implementation is a BQN pre-version implementation if it behaves as specified for all input programs. It is a BQN pre-version implementation with extensions if it behaves as specified in all cases where the specification does not require an error, but behaves differently in at least one case where it requires an error. It is a partial version of either of these if it doesn't conform to the description but differs from a conforming implementation only by rejecting with an error some programs that the conforming implementation accepts. As the specification is not yet versioned, other instances of the specification define these terms in different ways. An implementation can use one of these terms if it conforms to any instance of the pre-versioning BQN specifications that defines them. When versioning is begun, there will be only one specification for each version.

The following documents are included in the BQN specification. A BQN program is a sequence of Unicode code points: to evaluate it, it is converted into a sequence of tokens using the token formation rules, then these tokens are arranged in a syntax tree according to the grammar, and then this tree is evaluated according to the evaluation semantics. The program may be evaluated in the presence of additional context such as a filesystem or command-line arguments; this context is presented to the program and manipulated through the system-provided values.

In several cases, an implementation can choose between more than one possible behavior.