5 releases (3 breaking)

Uses old Rust 2015

0.4.0 Oct 6, 2018
0.3.0 Sep 8, 2018
0.2.0 Aug 26, 2018
0.1.1 Aug 25, 2018
0.1.0 Aug 25, 2018

#696 in Math

Used in lamcal-repl




Crates.io Docs.rs Linux Build Status Windows Build Status codevoc.io Apache-2.0

lamcal is a Lambda Calculus parser and evaluator and a separate command line REPL application to play around with lambda expressions interactively. All code is written in Rust.


The library can be used to

  • parse lambda expressions in classic notation into terms, like parse_str("(λx.(λy.x y) a) b")
    or parse_str("(\\x.(\\y.x y) a) b")
  • construct terms programmatically using functions, e.g. lam("x", app(var("x"), var("y")))
  • construct a sequence of function applications using the macro app!, e.g. app![var("a"), var("b"), var("c")] which is equivalent to app(app(var("a"), var("b")), var("c))
  • evaluate lambda terms to replace variables with predefined terms bound to the variable's name in the environment
  • apply α-conversion to terms using different strategies, such as enumeration or appending the tick symbol
  • apply β-reduction to terms using different strategies, such as call-by-name, normal-order or call-by-value
  • be extended by implementing user specific strategies for α-conversion and β-reduction.

The separate crate lamcal-repl (crate, github-repository ) provides the command line REPL (read-evaluate-print-loop) application to play around with lambda calculus terms and applying α-conversion and β-reduction interactively.


  • Evaluation functions are provided in two variants: An associated function, e.g. Term::reduce, that mutates the term in place and a standalone function, e.g. reduce, that leaves the original term unchanged and returns the result as a new term.
  • Strategies for α-conversion and β-reduction are defined as traits to easily implement custom strategies and use it with the functionality of this library.
  • Inspection system to inspect every single intermediate state of a term during evaluation and reduction and to stop processing depending on arbitrary conditions.
  • No recursion in any of the functions dealing with the recursive data structure of Term to avoid stack overflow errors when applied on huge terms. Instead all functions follow the trampolining pattern.
  • The parser gives detailed information about parse errors, like the position of the error in the source stream and what would have been expected instead in a valid expression.
  • Optional support for failure crate compatible error types.


To use lamcal as a library in your project add this to your Cargo.toml file:

lamcal = "0.4"

and this to your crate root:

extern crate lamcal;

For details about the library see the documentation at crates.io.

This library optionally supports the failure crate. The support for the failure crate is a crate feature. To enable it add the dependency to your Cargo.toml like so:

lamcal = { version = "0.4", features = ["failure"] }


Licensed under Apache License, Version 2.0
see LICENSE or http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0 for details.


Unless you explicitly state otherwise, any contribution intentionally submitted for inclusion in the work by you, as defined in the Apache-2.0 license, shall be licensed as above, without any additional terms or conditions.