Programming Languages working group (PLX)

Established: August 25, 2011

Programming Languages working group (PLX)
The Programing Languages working group investigates all aspects of programming language design and implementation. We aim to shape the future of software construction by developing new ways of programming. Our work spans a broad spectrum of research, ranging from the study of program semantics to via type systems, program logics and abstract interpretation to syntax and user interfaces.











Established: April 13, 2012

Koka is a function-oriented programming language that seperates pure values from side-effecting computations, where the effect of every function is automatically inferred. Koka has many features that help programmers to easily change their data types and code organization correctly, while having a small language core with a familiar JavaScript like syntax. The Koka project tries to see if effect inference can be used on larger scale programming. The language is strict (as in ML), but…


Established: July 20, 2011

Create apps everywhere on all your devices! For Windows Phone and the web. In the TouchDevelop programming environment you write scripts by tapping on the screen. You do not need a separate PC or keyboard. Scripts can perform various tasks similar to regular apps. Any TouchDevelop user can install, run, edit, publish scripts. You can share scripts with other people by publishing them to the TouchDevelop script bazaar, or by submitting them as an app…

The F* Project

Established: March 25, 2011

F* is a verification-oriented dialect of ML. For more information, please visit or click on the logo below.

Concurrent Revisions

Established: September 15, 2010

The Revisions project introduces a novel programming model for concurrent, parallel, and distributed applications. It provides programmers with a simple, yet powerful and efficient mechanism (based on mutable snapshots and deterministic conflict resolution) to execute various application tasks in parallel even if those tasks access the same data and may exhibit read-write or write-write conflicts. To find out more about the basic idea and how it works: Read our OOPSLA 2010 paper (links for all publications…

Dafny: A Language and Program Verifier for Functional Correctness

Established: December 23, 2008

Dafny is a programming language with built-in specification constructs. The Dafny static program verifier can be used to verify the functional correctness of programs. The Dafny programming language is designed to support the static verification of programs. It is imperative, sequential, supports generic classes, dynamic allocation, and inductive datatypes, and builds in specification constructs. The specifications include pre- and postconditions, frame specifications (read and write sets), and termination metrics. To further support specifications, the language also offers…

Boogie: An Intermediate Verification Language

Established: December 10, 2008

Boogie is an intermediate verification language, intended as a layer on which to build program verifiers for other languages. Several program verifiers have been built in this way, including the VCC and HAVOC verifiers for C and the verifiers for Dafny, Chalice, and Spec#. A previous version of the language was called BoogiePL. The current language (version 2) is currently known as just Boogie, which is also the name of the verification tool that takes…

VCC: A Verifier for Concurrent C

Established: December 10, 2008

VCC is a tool that proves correctness of annotated concurrent C programs or finds problems in them. VCC extends C with design by contract features, like pre- and postcondition as well as type invariants. Annotated programs are translated to logical formulas using the Boogie tool, which passes them to an automated SMT solver Z3 to check their validity. VCC is available for non-commercial use, with sources, at our codeplex site.  …

Code Contracts

Established: October 28, 2008

Code Contracts provide a language-agnostic way to express coding assumptions in .NET programs. The contracts take the form of preconditions, postconditions, and object invariants. Contracts act as checked documentation of your external and internal APIs. The contracts are used to improve testing via runtime checking, enable static contract verification, and documentation generation. Code Contracts is now Open Source! Code Contracts is now an open source project in GitHub. This page is being kept for historical…


Established: June 11, 2004

Spec# is a formal language for API contracts (influenced by JML, AsmL, and Eiffel), which extends C# with constructs for non-null types, preconditions, postconditions, and object invariants. Spec# comes with a sound programming methodology that permits specification and reasoning about object invariants even in the presence of callbacks and multi-threading. Spec# is a research vehicle that has been used to explore specifications and the dynamic/static tools that make use of them.

Microsoft Research blog

P: A programming language designed for asynchrony, fault-tolerance and uncertainty

P: A programming language designed for asynchrony, fault-tolerance and uncertainty

By Shaz Qadeer, Principal Researcher The complexity of emerging software applications requires new approaches to understanding and then efficiently building, testing and debugging these systems. Today’s software uses cloud resources, is often embedded in devices in the physical world and employs artificial intelligence techniques. These three factors make today’s software systems an order of magnitude more difficult to develop. Often, these modern applications feature asynchrony, which happens when, to improve performance, the requestor of an…

May 2017

Microsoft Research Blog