Types and Literals

This is an overview of the different types available in Cicada, and how you can create them.

The Unknown Type

If you encounter this type, you usually have a bug in your code (or there is a bug in Cicada). This type is used when Cicada can't deduce what type you are trying to use, meaning you may need to include a type hint to tell Cicada what type it should be expecting (more on that later).

The Unit Type

The unit type, written as (), is the "nothing" type, similar to None in Python or void in C. This type is useful when declaring a function doesn't return anything.

The bool Type

The bool type can only have 2 values: true or false.

The number Type

In Cicada, numbers are represented using a single number type, meaning there is no distinction between ints and floats.

There are many ways to create an number in Cicada since Cicada uses the same number semantics as Python:

# basic positive/negative numbers
let num = 123
let neg = -123

# floating point numbers
let pi = 3.1415

# number separators are supported too
let big_number = 123_456_789

# binary, octal, and hexadecimal numbers
let bin = 0b11001100
let oct = 0o777
let hex = 0xABCDEF

numbers can be truthy. This means that in an if statement, non-zero numbers are considered true, and zero is considered false:

let x = 1

if x:
  print("x is truthy")

Note: Under the hood Cicada uses the Decimal type to represent numbers. This means you can represent numeric literals with exact prescision and do most math operations with zero loss of accuracy. Since Cicada is not meant to be used for fast math operations, the overhead of using a Decimal should not matter too much.

The string Type

strings are similar to strings in other languages, like Python:

let x = "Hello world!"

You can create multi-line strings by adding newlines between your string:

let text = "
This is a block of text.
This text will be on a new line.

The list Type

lists are still in the early stages, but you can use them to create a list of the same types.

Here is how you create a list in Cicada:

let nums = [1, 2, 3]

In this example, x is a list of numbers. The explicit type for lists are written as [T], so in this example, x is of type [number].