Oden is an experimental, statically typed, functional programming language, built for the Go ecosystem. It aims to leverage the great features of Go — static linking, cross-compilation, goroutines, channels and the great set of libraries and tools — and enable higher-level abstractions, polymorphism and a safer yet more flexible type system.


These are the primary goals and tradeoffs as well as non-goals for the first iterations of Oden. To be extra clear, this is currently an experimental language and it might change drastically.

  • A functional language inspired by Haskell, LISP and Go compiling to Go.
  • Avoid cleverness, prefer clarity.
  • Oden should feature a safe but versatile type system - more flexible than the one in Go and at least as safe.
    • Polymorphism (parametric and ad hoc).
    • Heavy type inference.
    • Support for type annotations on top-level forms.
    • Polymorphic user-defined compound types.
    • Higher-kinded types.
  • Higher-level abstractions for error handling, nil checking etc.
  • Immutable data structures.
  • Pattern matching with exhaustiveness checking.
  • Support the built-in types of Go and provide simple interoperability. Oden should be another language for the Go ecosystem.
  • The compiler should be easy to change and hack on.
  • Fun to program in!
  • Use the MVP Pyramid approach – complement functional features with usability and emotional design.


The first versions of Oden should not focus on the following objectives. They may be achieved anyway, but that should be regarded as a bonus.

  • A fast compiler. Emphasis lies on a simple implementation with correct semantics, not compilation or runtime speed.
  • Easy workflow. After running the Oden compiler the user might have to step in to a directory of output Go files and run go build etc.
  • Producing beautiful Go code.
  • Easy Go-to-Oden interopability (calling Oden code from Go). It might turn out easy after all, but that is not an explicit goal.


  • A “Go backend” for another existing language. Oden is a language on its own.
  • A Haskell-clone. Great ideas from Haskell and other languages do influence Oden but it’s really not a Haskell clone.
  • Macros. Might be considered in the future, but not a focus for now.


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We are committed to providing a welcoming and inspiring community for all and expect our Code of Conduct to be honored. Anyone who violates this code of conduct may be banned from the community.


The following spaces are ideal for asking questions, discussing language design and high-level ideas, as well as keeping up to date with the project:


If you find the Oden project interesting and want to help work on it, you can submit bug reports and change requests at the GitHub issues page.