val times = fn a => (fn b => a*b);This declaration introduces

`times`

.
I will write the value as a closure:
times = [fn a => (fn b => a*b) | global]The bracketed notation has two parts: the code for the function (it is actually compiled) and the nonlocal referencing environment in which it is to be run (in this case global).

val twice = times 2;When

`times`

is called, it gets a new activation record. I will write that
activation record like this:
α: <times | global | a=2>The first part names the compiled code that is running. The second part is the nonlocal referencing environment in which that code runs. The third part is the binding of the formal parameters. I label the entire activation record with a greek name (

`α`

) so I can
refer to it later.
The body of `times`

needs to return a
function. It does so, returning this closure to be bound to `twice`

:

twice = [fn b => a*b | α]The returned closure has a nonlocal referencing environment

`α`

, which is
the activation record of the function doing
the returning.
So `α`

must not be deallocated when `times`

returns.
We will assume a garbage collector will eventually deallocate unused activation
records; we will never explicitly deallocate them.
val compose = fn (f,g) => (fn x => f(g(x)));The resulting closure:

compose = [fn (f,g) => (fn x => f(g(x))) | global]

val fourtimes = compose(twice, twice);This declaration invokes

`compose`

,
generating this activation record:
β: <compose | global | f=twice, g=twice>

`Compose`

then returns a value to be bound to `fourtimes`

:
fourtimes = [fn x => f(g(x)) | β]Both

`f`

and `g`

are compiled as references to 1-level nonlocal
values.
We now invoke `fourtimes`

:
fourtimes 5;This invocation builds a new activation record:

γ: <fourtimes | β | x=5>The body of

`fourtimes`

first needs to evaluate `g(x)`

.
The compiled code for `fourtimes`

knows that
`g`

is one level nonlocal; it is found in `β`

to be `twice`

.
So we invoke `g=twice`

in this new activation record:
δ: <twice | α | b=5>The body of

`twice`

is `a*b`

, where `b`

is local (value `5`

),
and `a`

is 1-level nonlocal, therefore in `α`

(value `2`

). So
the value `2*5=10`

is returned.
We are back in `γ`

, and the body of `fourtimes`

now applies `f`

to the `10`

that it just calculated. It finds `f`

one level nonlocal,
in `β`

; `f`

is `twice`

. Calling `f=twice`

builds this
activation record:

ε: <twice | α | b=10>Once more,

`twice`

evaluates `a*b`

where `a`

is the nonlocal value
2 (in `α`

) and `b`

is the local value `10`

(in
`ε`

). This call returns `20`

back to `γ`

, which returns
the `20`

back to its caller, the main program.
val curry = fn f => (fn a => (fn b => f(a,b)));This declaration generates a closure:

curry = [fn f => (fn a => (fn b => f(a,b))) | global]

val curryPlus = curry plus;Function

`curry`

is called in activation record `γ`

:
γ: <curry | global | f=plus>This invocation returns the following closure, bound to

`curryPlus`

:
curryPlus = [fn a => (fn b => f(a,b)) | γ]

val successor = curryPlus 1;This declaration invokes

`curryPlus`

, generating this activation record:
ι: <curryPlus | γ | a=1>This call returns the following closure, bound to

`successor`

:
successor = [fn b => f(a,b) | ι]In this closure,

`a`

is one level nonlocal, `b`

is local, and `f`

is two levels nonlocal.
We can now invoke `successor`

:

successor 3;We build a new activation record:

kappa: <successor | ι | b=3>Local value:

`b=3`

. One level nonlocal (`ι`

): `a=1`

.
Two levels nonlocal (`γ`

): `f=plus`

.
The body of `successor`

needs to invoke `f(a,b)`

, which is resolved as
`plus(1,3)`

, which yields `4`

.