A Story in the Land of Programming Languages


April 2, 2014


Jonathan Protzenko




In this talk, I will present my personal history with programming languages. Lately, I’ve been designing and implementing Mezzo, a next-generation dialect of ML that features a novel type system. Writing programs in Mezzo guarantees that programs are data-race free. The finer-grained type system rules out dangerous programming patterns while enabling new programming styles in a type-safe way. I will go back and forth between an interactive demonstration of the language and a more formal introduction to the concepts. I will mention the challenges that I encountered while implementing the type-checker. I will also talk about my other endeavors in the land of programming languages, such as my experience with writing sizable Javascript programs in an almost-ECMA-6 version of JS.


Jonathan Protzenko

I’m a PhD student in the Gallium team at INRIA, under the supervision of F. Pottier. My research interests are centered around programming languages, which resulted in Mezzo, a new language. When I’m not hacking on the Mezzo compiler or scribbling typing rules on a piece of paper, I contribute to the Mozilla open-source project at night, writing Javascript for fun. I wrote a book about Mozilla technologies in 2005, and I maintain a few Thunderbird addons. Some of these addons have a few users (~100,000, ~30,000) and represent significant codebases. Prior to that, I earned my Master’s degree from École Normale Supérieure de Lyon in 2010.


  • Portrait of Jonathan Protzenko

    Jonathan Protzenko