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Section: New Software and Platforms


The Coq Proof Assistant

Keywords: Proof - Certification - Formalisation

Scientific Description: Coq is an interactive proof assistant based on the Calculus of (Co-)Inductive Constructions, extended with universe polymorphism. This type theory features inductive and co-inductive families, an impredicative sort and a hierarchy of predicative universes, making it a very expressive logic. The calculus allows to formalize both general mathematics and computer programs, ranging from theories of finite structures to abstract algebra and categories to programming language metatheory and compiler verification. Coq is organised as a (relatively small) kernel including efficient conversion tests on which are built a set of higher-level layers: a powerful proof engine and unification algorithm, various tactics/decision procedures, a transactional document model and, at the very top an IDE.

Functional Description: Coq provides both a dependently-typed functional programming language and a logical formalism, which, altogether, support the formalisation of mathematical theories and the specification and certification of properties of programs. Coq also provides a large and extensible set of automatic or semi-automatic proof methods. Coq's programs are extractible to OCaml, Haskell, Scheme, ...

Release Functional Description: Coq version 8.8.2 contains the result of refinements and stabilization of features and deprecations, cleanups of the internals of the system along with a few new features.

Summary of changes:

Kernel: fix a subject reduction failure due to allowing fixpoints on non-recursive values (#407), by Matthieu Sozeau. Handling of evars in the VM (#935) by Pierre-Marie Pédrot.

Notations: many improvements on recursive notations and support for destructuring patterns in the syntax of notations by Hugo Herbelin.

Proof language: tacticals for profiling, timing and checking success or failure of tactics by Jason Gross. The focusing bracket { supports single-numbered goal selectors, e.g. 2:{, (#6551) by Théo Zimmermann.

Vernacular: cleanup of definition commands (#6653) by Vincent Laporte and more uniform handling of the Local flag (#1049), by Maxime Dénès. Experimental Show Extraction command (#6926) by Pierre Letouzey. Coercion now accepts Prop or Type as a source (#6480) by Arthur Charguéraud. Export modifier for options allowing to export the option to modules that Import and not only Require a module (#6923), by Pierre-Marie Pédrot.

Universes: many user-level and API level enhancements: qualified naming and printing, variance annotations for cumulative inductive types, more general constraints and enhancements of the minimization heuristics, interaction with modules by Gaëtan Gilbert, Pierre-Marie Pédrot and Matthieu Sozeau.

Library: Decimal Numbers library (#6599) by Pierre Letouzey and various small improvements.

Documentation: a large community effort resulted in the migration of the reference manual to the Sphinx documentation tool. The new documentation infrastructure (based on Sphinx) is by Clément Pit-Claudel. The migration was coordinated by Maxime Dénès and Paul Steckler, with some help of Théo Zimmermann during the final integration phase. The 14 people who ported the manual are Calvin Beck, Heiko Becker, Yves Bertot, Maxime Dénès, Richard Ford, Pierre Letouzey, Assia Mahboubi, Clément Pit-Claudel, Laurence Rideau, Matthieu Sozeau, Paul Steckler, Enrico Tassi, Laurent Théry, Nikita Zyuzin.

Tools: experimental -mangle-names option to coqtop/coqc for linting proof scripts (#6582), by Jasper Hugunin. Main changes:

Critical soundness bugs were fixed between versions 8.8.0 and 8.8.2, and a PDF version of the reference manual was made available. The Windows installer also includes many more external packages that can be individually selected for installation.

On the implementation side, the dev/doc/ file documents the numerous changes to the implementation and improvements of interfaces. The file provides guidelines on porting a plugin to the new version.

More information can be found in the CHANGES file. Feedback and bug reports are extremely welcome.

Distribution Installers for Windows 32 bits (i686), Windows 64 bits (x8_64) and macOS are available. They come bundled with CoqIDE. Windows binaries now include the Bignums library.

Complete sources of the files installed by the Windows installers are made available, to comply with license requirements.

News Of The Year: Version 8.8.0 was released in April 2018 and version 8.8.2 in September 2018. This is the third release of Coq developed on a time-based development cycle. Its development spanned 6 months from the release of Coq 8.7 and was based on a public road-map. It attracted many external contributions. Code reviews and continuous integration testing were systematically used before integration of new features, with an important focus given to compatibility and performance issues.

The main advances in this version are cleanups and fixes in the many different components of the system, ranging from low level kernel fixes to advances in the support of notations and tacticals for selecting goals. A large community effort was made to move the documentation to the Sphinx format, providing a more accessible online ressource to users.

  • Participants: Abhishek Anand, C. J. Bell, Yves Bertot, Frédéric Besson, Tej Chajed, Pierre Courtieu, Maxime Denes, Julien Forest, Emilio Jesús Gallego Arias, Gaëtan Gilbert, Benjamin Grégoire, Jason Gross, Hugo Herbelin, Ralf Jung, Matej Kosik, Sam Pablo Kuper, Xavier Leroy, Pierre Letouzey, Assia Mahboubi, Cyprien Mangin, Érik Martin-Dorel, Olivier Marty, Guillaume Melquiond, Pierre-Marie Pédrot, Benjamin C. Pierce, Lars Rasmusson, Yann Régis-Gianas, Lionel Rieg, Valentin Robert, Thomas Sibut-Pinote, Michael Soegtrop, Matthieu Sozeau, Arnaud Spiwack, Paul Steckler, George Stelle, Pierre-Yves Strub, Enrico Tassi, Hendrik Tews, Laurent Théry, Amin Timany, Vadim Zaliva and Théo Zimmermann

  • Partners: CNRS - Université Paris-Sud - ENS Lyon - Université Paris-Diderot

  • Contact: Matthieu Sozeau

  • Publication: The Coq Proof Assistant, version 8.8.0

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