Last update: 29 May 2011
The Nonpareil Project is a software project being undertaken by Jeffrey H. Kingston. The aim is to build an open source interactive document editing and typesetting system which advances the state of the art. More details, including the answers to most frequently asked questions, may be found in the Prospectus for Nonpareil (see below).
Although I have been thinking about this problem along these lines since 1996, and have supervised some student projects in the area, the project only really took off in 2002 with the thesis of my honours student, Bradley Baetz, and my resignation from paid employment in August 2002 to pursue research full-time. Progress since then has been slower than I had hoped, partly because my other research project, high school timetable construction, started to go very well just then and has since consumed a lot of my time.
Nonpareil is based on a functional object-oriented language, also called Nonpareil, which has a modern module and type system. I am currently working on a compiler for Nonpareil. Along the way I have produced a compiler toolkit called Howard. Howard is a collection of software libraries which support compilers for object-oriented languages generally. I will release it separately at the same time as the compiler.
I cordially welcome comments, suggestions, and pointers to relevant other work. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have something of interest to communicate. Better still, if your interest is likely to be ongoing, join the mailing list (see below).
Jeffrey H. Kingston
Jeffrey H. Kingston. Nonpareil Compiler, Version 1.02. This is just an alpha release, it does not do any document formatting. (Gzipped tar file, 1.5M).
My diary recording the progress of the project (including KMT) to July 2008.
Jeffrey H. Kingston. The future of document formatting (PDF). Written in November 1996.
Jeffrey H. Kingston. Nonpareil Language Specification, Version 1.0. February 2003. This is not the complete specification, rather it's what I've implementated so far (lexing, parsing, views and renaming -- everything up to but not including type checking) (PostScript, 1.5M) (Gzipped PostScript, 105K)
Jeffrey H. Kingston. Nonpareil Language Specification, Version 1.1. August 2003. Progress to August 2003, including a working type system but not yet a back end. (PostScript, 2.2M) (Gzipped PostScript, 281K)
Jeffrey H. Kingston. Thoughts on Modelling Text in Nonpareil. October 2004. (PostScript, 45K)