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Evaluate a New Programming Language

One of the goals of this work is to ensure that the benchmark set is extensible. In trying out the completions in Evaluate a New Model, you may have noticed a number of files with prefixes humaneval_to_ and eval_ in src/. These are the only two files required for adding a new language to the benchmark.

Most of the work (recursive substitution, actually generating the strings, etc.) takes place in the script. This should work for any language that you throw at it, although your mileage may vary.

Creating humaneval_to_L

Let’s say we had not included Perl in the set of benchmark languages and you want to add it. In a new file you will need to define a class called Translator. Translator contains numerous methods - the interface for a generic Translator class is provided in .

There are three types of methods for Translator: (1) methods that handle translating the prompt, (2) methods that handle translating the unit tests, and (3) methods that handle the value-to-value translation.

First, let’s handle converting the Python prompt to a Perl prompt. This is done by the translate_prompt method. translate_prompt needs to return a string (we definitely suggest using a formatted Python string here) that contains the Perl prompt and then the Perl function signature. We suggest accumulating the prompt into one string as follows:

perl_description = "# " + re.sub(DOCSTRING_LINESTART_RE, "\n# ", description.strip()) + "\n"

where "#" are Perl single-line comments. DOCSTRING_LINESTART_RE identifies the first line in the prompt using a regex and then description is a string representing the rest of the prompt. This process should be pretty simple - just connect them together with your comment structure of choice.

The argument name to translate_prompt takes care of the function name, you just need to format the function arguments (argument args) and delimiters to complete the prompt translation.

Now let’s consider the three methods which help translate unit tests: test_suite_prefix_lines, test_suite_suffix_lines, and deep_equality. The prefix and suffix methods return a “wrapper” around the set of generated unit tests. In most languages, as is the case in Perl, the prefix defines a function/class for testing and the suffix calls that function. This may include calls to your testing library of choice (please look at existing humaneval_to files for examples!). The wrapper in Perl we use is:

sub testhumaneval {
   my $candidate = entry_point;
   # Tests go here

Note the argument entry_point to test_suite_prefix_lines: this is the name of the function for each benchmark. In most languages, we either assign that to a variable candidate (as done in the original HumanEval benchmark) or call entry_point directly.

The final unit test function is deep_equality, which is where you define how to check whether two arguments (left and right) are structurally equal. In Perl we do this with eq_deeply. (Hint: note that sometimes the order of left and right can be switched in some testing frameworks - try this out to produce the best error messages possible!).

Third, let’s tackle the value-to-value translation methods. All of them take a Python value (or some representation of one) as an argument and return a string representing that value’s equivalent in Perl.

For instance, gen_dict defines what dictionaries in Python should map to in Perl. Our implementation is below; the only work we need to do is use of => i nstead of : to differentiate keys and values in Perl.

 def gen_dict(self, keys: List[str], values: List[str]) -> str:
        return "{" + ", ".join(f"{k} => {v}" for k, v in zip(keys, values)) + "}"

This step should be quite straightforward for each value and its associated method. When there is choice, we used our language knowledge or consulted the style guides from the language communities (see our paper’s Appendix). As we mention in our paper, the ease of value-to-value mapping is one of the key aspects of this approach.

There are also smaller elements to Translator (stop tokens, file_ext, etc.) that you will need to populate accordingly.

If you’ve successfully gotten to this point: great, you’re done and can move on to eval_foo and testing. If you wanted to add a statically typed benchmark - Read on!

What about statically typed languages?

Statically typed translations are notably more challenging to implement than the Perl example above. Rather than walk you through the steps directly, we provide a well-documented version of for TypeScript as an example. Feel free to also consult translations for other languages in the benchmark, although your mileage may vary.

Creating eval_L

Now that you’re done converting Python to your language of choice, you need to define how to evaluate the generated programs. As a reminder, one of the contributions of this benchmark suite is actually evaluating the generated code. Let’s continue with the idea that you are adding Perl as a new language to our dataset.

In you should define a function, eval_script, with the following signature and imports:

from pathlib import Path
from safe_subprocess import run

def eval_script(path: Path):

In the body of eval_script you should call run with the requisite arguments (please refer to it’s documentation and your computing architecture to do this correctly). For our results, we use the following call to run for Perl:

r = run(["perl", path])

You should then determine how to handle what gets assigned to r. If you look around the eval scripts we provide, there are different granularities for handling program evaluation. For instance some statically typed errors handle compilation and runtime errors differently. We recommend, at minimum, handling success (typically exit code 0), timeouts, syntax errors, and exceptions as four subclasses of results. You can do this using try-except statments or simply with conditionals:

   if r.timeout:
        status = "Timeout"
   ... handle other errors ...
        status = "OK"

eval_script should return a dictionary of the form below - the scripts above rely on this output format to calculate pass@k metrics:

return {
        "status": status,
        "exit_code": r.exit_code,
        "stdout": r.stdout,
        "stderr": r.stderr,

There is one final step if you want to run the completion tutorial above for your brand new language. Open and add links to your new language in two places:

  1. Add your eval_pl as an import statement in the preamble
  2. Add your language as a key in the EVALUATORS dictionary. There are many examples available for you to look at, but the key should (likely) be the file extension (i.e. pl) and the value should be a tuple of the form (eval_script function, file extension).

That’s it, you’re done! Enjoy learning about how NL2Code models work on your language of choice and we hope you found this tutorial helpful.