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MojoπŸ”₯ roadmap & sharp edges

This document captures the broad plan about how we plan to implement things in Mojo, and some early thoughts about key design decisions. This is not a full design spec for any of these features, but it can provide a "big picture" view of what to expect over time. It is also an acknowledgement of major missing components that we plan to add.

Overall priorities​

Mojo is still in early development and many language features will arrive in the coming months. We are highly focused on building Mojo the right way (for the long-term), so we want to fully build-out the core Mojo language features before we work on other dependent features and enhancements.

Currently, that means we are focused on the core system programming features that are essential to Mojo's mission, and as outlined in the following sections of this roadmap.

In the near-term, we will not prioritize "general goodness" work such as:

  • Adding syntactic sugar and short-hands for Python.
  • Adding features from other languages that are missing from Python (such as public/private declarations).
  • Tackling broad Python ecosystem challenges like packaging.

If you have encountered any bugs with current Mojo behavior, please submit an issue on GitHub.

If you have ideas about how to improve the core Mojo features, we prefer that you first look for similar topics or start a new conversation about it in our GitHub Discussions.

We also consider Mojo to be a new member of the Python family, so if you have suggestions to improve the experience with Python, we encourage you to propose these "general goodness" enhancements through the formal PEP process.

Why not add syntactic sugar or other minor new features?​

We are frequently asked whether Mojo will add minor features that people love in other languages but that are missing in Python, such as "implicit return" at the end of a function, public/private access control, fixing Python packaging, and various syntactic shorthands. As mentioned above, we are intentionally not adding these kinds of features to Mojo right now. There are three major reasons for this:

  • First, Mojo is still young: we are still "building a house" by laying down major bricks in the type system and adding system programming features that Python lacks. We know we need to implement support for many existing Python features (compatibility is a massive and important goal of Mojo) and this work is not done yet. We have limited engineering bandwidth and want focus on building essential functionality, and we will not debate whether certain syntactic sugar is important or not.

  • Second, syntactic sugar is like mortar in a buildingβ€”its best use is to hold the building together by filling in usability gaps. Sugar (and mortar) is problematic to add early into a system: you can run into problems with laying the next bricks because the sugar gets in the way. We have experience building other languages (such as Swift) that added sugar early, which could have been subsumed by more general features if time and care were given to broader evaluation.

  • Third, the Python community should tackle some of these ideas first. It is important to us that Mojo be a good member of the Python family (a "Python++"), not just a language with Pythonic syntax. As such, we don't want to needlessly diverge from Python evolution: adding a bunch of features could lead to problems down the road if Python makes incompatible decisions. Such a future would fracture the community which would cause massively more harm than any minor language feature could offset.

For all these reasons, "nice to have" syntactic sugar is not a priority, and we will quickly close such proposals to avoid cluttering the issue tracker. If you'd like to propose a "general goodness" syntactic feature, please do so with the existing Python PEP process. If/when Python adopts a feature, Mojo will also add it, because Mojo's goal is to be a superset. We are happy with this approach because the Python community is better equipped to evaluate these features, they have mature code bases to evaluate them with, and they have processes and infrastructure for making structured language evolution features.

Mojo SDK known issues​

The Mojo SDK is still in early development and currently only available for Ubuntu Linux and macOS (Apple silicon) systems. Here are some of the notable issues that we plan to fix:

  • Missing native support for Windows, Intel Macs, and Linux distributions other than Ubuntu. Currently, we support Ubuntu systems with x86-64 processors only. Support for more Linux distributions (including Debian and RHEL) and Windows is in progress.

  • Python interoperability might fail when running a compiled Mojo program, with the message Unable to locate a suitable libpython, please set MOJO_PYTHON_LIBRARY. This is because we currently do not embed the Python version into the Mojo binary. For details and the workaround, see issue #551.

  • Mojo programs that import NumPy might fail with the following error:

    Importing the numpy C-extensions failed. This error can happen for
    many reasons, often due to issues with your setup or how NumPy was

    This may occur because the version of NumPy doesn't match the Python interpreter Mojo is using. As a workaround, follow the instructions in issue #1085 to install a Python virtual environment using Conda. This can solve many issues with Python interoperability.

  • Modular CLI install might fail and require modular clean before you re-install.

    If it asks you to perform auth, run modular auth <MODULAR_AUTH> and use the MODULAR_AUTH value shown for the curl command on the download page.

  • modular install mojo is slow and might appear unresponsive (as the installer is downloading packages in the background). We will add a progress bar in a future release.

  • If you attempt to uninstall Mojo with modular uninstall, your subsequent attempt to install Mojo might fail with an HTTP 500 error code. If so, run modular clean and try again.

  • Mojo REPL might hang (become unresponsive for more than 10 seconds) when interpreting an expression if your system has 4 GiB or less RAM. If you encounter this issue, please report it with your system specs.

Additionally, we're aware of some issues that we might not be able to solve, but we mention them here with some more information:

  • When installing Mojo, if you receive the error, failed to reach URL, it could be because your network connection is behind a firewall. Try updating your firewall settings to allow access to these end points: and Then retry with modular clean and modular install mojo.

  • When installing Mojo, if you receive the error, gpg: no valid OpenGPG data found, this is likely because you are located outside our supported geographies. Due to US export control restrictions, we are unable to provide access to Mojo to users situated in specific countries.

  • If using Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), you might face issues with WSL 1. We recommend you upgrade to WSL 2. To check the version, run wsl -l -v. If you're running WSL 1, refer to the WSL upgrade instructions.

  • When installing on macOS (Apple silicon), the Modular CLI install might fail with the message:

    modular: The arm64 architecture is required for this software.

    This occurs because Apple's Rosetta x86 emulation is active. Check the following:

    • Right click on the terminal application you use (for example,, click Get Info, and make sure the Open in Rosetta checkbox is not selected.

    • Run the following command:

      brew config | grep Rosetta

      If the output shows Rosetta 2: True, the x86 version of Homebrew is installed. Uninstall and reinstall Homebrew before retrying the Modular installation.

      Before uninstalling Homebrew, verify that you don't have other projects specifically depending on the x86 version of Homebrew.

You can see other reported issues on GitHub.

Small independent features​

There are a number of features that are missing that are important to round out the language fully, but which don't depend strongly on other features. These include things like:

  • Improved package management support.
  • Many standard library features, including canonical arrays and dictionary types, copy-on-write data structures, etc.
  • Support for "top level code" at file scope.
  • Algebraic data types like enum in Swift/Rust, and pattern matching.
  • Many standard library types, including Optional[T] and Result[T, Error] types when we have algebraic datatypes and basic traits.
  • Support for keyword-only arguments and variadic keyword arguments (**kwargs).
  • Support for passing keyword arguments when calling Python functions.

Ownership and Lifetimes​

The ownership system is partially implemented, and is expected to get built out in the next couple of months. The basic support for ownership includes features like:

  • Capture declarations in closures.
  • Borrow checker: complain about invalid mutable references.

The next step in this is to bring proper lifetime support in. This will add the ability to return references and store references in structures safely. In the immediate future, one can use the unsafe Pointer struct to do this like in C++.

Traits support​

As of v0.6.0 Mojo has basic support for traits. Traits allow you to specify a set of requirements for types to implement. Types can implement those requirements to conform to the trait. Traits allow you to write generic functions and generic containers, which can work with any type that conforms to a given trait, instead of being hard-coded to work with a specific type.

Currently, the only kind of requirements supported by traits are required method signatures. The trait can't provide a default implementation for its required methods, so each conforming type must implement all of the required methods.

A number of built-in traits are already implemented in the standard library.

We plan to expand traits support in future releases. Planned features include:

  • More traits built in to the standard library, and expanded use of traits throughout the standard library.

  • Support for default implementations of required methods.

  • Support for a feature like Swift's extensions, allowing you to add a trait to a preexisting type.


Mojo still doesn't support classes, the primary thing Python programmers use pervasively! This isn't because we hate dynamism - quite the opposite. It is because we need to get the core language semantics nailed down before adding them. We expect to provide full support for all the dynamic features in Python classes, and want the right framework to hang that off of.

When we get here, we will discuss what the right default is: for example, is full Python hash-table dynamism the default? Or do we use a more efficient model by default (e.g. vtable-based dispatch and explicitly declared stored properties) and allow opt'ing into dynamism with a @dynamic decorator on the class. The latter approach worked well for Swift (its @objc attribute), but we'll have to prototype to better understand the tradeoffs.

C/C++ Interop​

Integration to transparently import Clang C/C++ modules. Mojo's type system and C++'s are pretty compatible, so we should be able to have something pretty nice here. Mojo can leverage Clang to transparently generate a foreign function interface between C/C++ and Mojo, with the ability to directly import functions:

from "math.h" import cos


Calling Mojo from Python​

Currently you can call Python code from Mojo, but not the reverse: you can't pass a Mojo callback to a Python function, or build a Python extension in Mojo. We want to support calling Mojo from Python, but we want to do it right and we need the core language to be more mature first.

Full MLIR decorator reflection​

All decorators in Mojo have hard-coded behavior in the parser. In time, we will move these decorators to being compile-time metaprograms that use MLIR integration. This may depend on C++ interop for talking to MLIR. This completely opens up the compiler to programmers. Static decorators are functions executed at compile-time with the capability to inspect and modify the IR of functions and types.

fn value(t: TypeSpec):
t.__copyinit__ = # synthesize dunder copyinit automatically

struct TrivialType: pass

fn full_unroll(loop: mlir.Operation):
# unrolling of structured loop

fn main():
for i in range(10):

Sharp Edges​

The entire Modular kernel library is written in Mojo, and its development has been prioritized based on the internal needs of those users. Given that Mojo is still a young language, there are a litany of missing small features that many Python and systems programmers may expect from their language, as well as features that don't quite work the way we want to yet, and in ways that can be surprising or unexpected. This section of the document describes a variety of "sharp edges" in Mojo, and potentially how to work around them if needed. We expect all of these to be resolved in time, but in the meantime, they are documented here.

No list or dict comprehensions​

Mojo does not yet support Python list or dictionary comprehension expressions, like [x for x in range(10)], because Mojo's standard library has not yet grown a standard list or dictionary type.

No lambda syntax​

Mojo does not yet support defining anonymous functions with the lambda keyword.

Parametric aliases​

Mojo aliases can refer to parametric values but cannot themselves have parameter lists. As of v0.6.0, you can create a parametric alias by aliasing an unbound or partially-bound type. For example, the new Scalar type is defined as:

alias Scalar = SIMD[size=1]

This creates a parametric alias that you can use like this:

var i = Scalar[DType.int8]

Parametric aliases with an explicit parameter list aren't yet supported:

alias mul2[x: Int] = x * 2
# Error!

Exception is actually called Error​

In Python, programmers expect that exceptions all subclass the Exception builtin class. The only available type for Mojo "exceptions" is Error:

fn raise_an_error() raises:
raise Error("I'm an error!")

The reason we call this type Error instead of Exception is because it's not really an exception. It's not an exception, because raising an error does not cause stack unwinding, but most importantly it does not have a stack trace. And without polymorphism, the Error type is the only kind of error that can be raised in Mojo right now.

No Python-style generator functions​

Mojo does not yet support Python-style generator functions (yield syntax). These are "synchronous co-routines" -- functions with multiple suspend points.

No async for or async with​

Although Mojo has support for async functions with async fn and async def, Mojo does not yet support the async for and async with statements.

The rebind builtin​

One of the consequences of Mojo not performing function instantiation in the parser like C++ is that Mojo cannot always figure out whether some parametric types are equal and complain about an invalid conversion. This typically occurs in static dispatch patterns, like:

fn take_simd8(x: SIMD[DType.float32, 8]): pass

fn generic_simd[nelts: Int](x: SIMD[DType.float32, nelts]):
if nelts == 8:

The parser will complain,

error: invalid call to 'take_simd8': argument #0 cannot be converted from
'SIMD[f32, nelts]' to 'SIMD[f32, 8]'

This is because the parser fully type-checks the function without instantiation, and the type of x is still SIMD[f32, nelts], and not SIMD[f32, 8], despite the static conditional. The remedy is to manually "rebind" the type of x, using the rebind builtin, which inserts a compile-time assert that the input and result types resolve to the same type after function instantiation.

fn generic_simd[nelts: Int](x: SIMD[DType.float32, nelts]):
if nelts == 8:
take_simd8(rebind[SIMD[DType.float32, 8]](x))

Scoping and mutability of statement variables​

Python programmers understand that local variables are implicitly declared and scoped at the function level. As the programming manual explains, this feature is supported in Mojo only inside def functions. However, there are some nuances to Python's implicit declaration rules that Mojo does not match 1-to-1.

For example, the scope of for loop iteration variables and caught exceptions in except statements is limited to the next indentation block, for both def and fn functions. Python programmers will expect the following program to print "2":

for i in range(3): pass

However, Mojo will complain that print(i) is a use of an unknown declaration. This is because whether i is defined at this line is dynamic in Python. For instance the following Python program will fail:

for i range(0): pass

With NameError: name 'i' is not defined, because the definition of i is a dynamic characteristic of the function. Mojo's lifetime tracker is intentionally simple (so lifetimes are easy to use!), and cannot reason that i would be defined even when the loop bounds are constant.

Also stated in the programming manual: in def functions, the function arguments are mutable and re-assignable, whereas in fn, function arguments are rvalues and cannot be re-assigned. The same logic extends to statement variables, like for loop iteration variables or caught exceptions:

def foo():
except e:
e = Error() # ok: we can overwrite 'e'

fn bar():
except e:
e = Error() # error: 'e' is not mutable

Name scoping of nested function declarations​

In Python, nested function declarations produce dynamic values. They are essentially syntax sugar for bar = lambda ....

def foo():
def bar(): # creates a function bound to the dynamic value 'bar'
bar() # indirect call

In Mojo, nested function declarations are static, so calls to them are direct unless made otherwise.

fn foo():
fn bar(): # static function definition bound to 'bar'
bar() # direct call
var f = bar # materialize 'bar' as a dynamic value
f() # indirect call

Currently, this means you cannot declare two nested functions with the same name. For instance, the following example does not work in Mojo:

def pick_func(cond) -> def() capturing:
if cond:
def bar(): return 42
def bar(): return 3 # error: redeclaration of 'bar'
return bar

The functions in each conditional must be explicitly materialized as dynamic values.

def pick_func(cond)  -> def() capturing:
var result: def() capturing # Mojo function type
if cond:
def bar0(): return 42
result = bar0
def bar1(): return 3
result = bar1
return result

We hope to sort out these oddities with nested function naming as our model of closures in Mojo develops further.

Limited polymorphism​

Mojo has implemented static polymorphism through traits, as noted above. We plan to implement dynamic polymorphism through classes and MLIR reflection in the future.

Python programmers are used to implementing special dunder methods on their classes to interface with generic methods like print() and len(). For instance, one expects that implementing __repr__() or __str__() on a class will enable that class to be printed using print().

class One:
def __init__(self): pass
def __repr__(self): return '1'

print(One()) # prints '1'

Mojo currently supports this feature through the Stringable trait, so that print() works on all Stringable types. Similar support exists for the int() and len() functions. We'll continue to add traits support to the standard library to enable common use cases like this.

Lifetime tracking inside collections​

With traits, it is now possible to build collection types like lists, maps, and sets that invoke element destructors. However, most standard library collection types haven't yet been extended to use traits.

For collections of trivial types, like Int, this is no problem, but for collections of types with lifetimes, like String, the elements have to be manually destructed. Doing so requires quite an ugly pattern, shown in the next section.

The List type has been updated to use traits, and invokes destructors properly.

No safe value references​

Mojo does not have proper lifetime marker support yet, and that means it cannot reason about returned references, so Mojo doesn't support them. You can return or keep unsafe references by passing explicit pointers around.

struct StringRef:
var ref: Pointer[SI8]
var size: Int
# ...

fn bar(x: StringRef): pass

fn foo():
var s: String = "1234"
var ref: StringRef = s # unsafe reference
_ = s # keep the backing memory alive!

Mojo will destruct objects as soon as it thinks it can. That means the lifetime of objects to which there are unsafe references must be manually extended. See the Death of a value for more details. This disables the RAII pattern in Mojo. Context managers and with statements are your friends in Mojo.

No lvalue returns also mean that implementing certain patterns require magic keywords until proper lifetime support is built. One such pattern is retrieving an unsafe reference from an object.

struct UnsafeIntRef:
var ptr: Pointer[Int]

fn printIntRef(x: UnsafeIntRef):
# "deference" operator
print(__get_address_as_lvalue(x.ptr)) # Pointer[Int] -> &Int

var c: Int = 10
# "reference" operator
var ref = UnsafeIntRef(__get_lvalue_as_address(c)) # &Int -> Pointer[Int]

Parameter closure captures are unsafe references​

You may have seen nested functions, or "closures", annotated with the @parameter decorator. This creates a "parameter closure", which behaves differently than a normal "stateful" closure. A parameter closure declares a compile-time value, similar to an alias declaration. That means parameter closures can be passed as parameters:

fn take_func[f: fn() capturing -> Int]():

fn call_it(a: Int):
fn inner() -> Int:
return a # capture 'a'

take_func[inner]() # pass 'inner' as a parameter

Parameter closures can even be parametric and capturing:

fn take_func[f: fn[a: Int]() capturing -> Int]():

fn call_it(a: Int):
fn inner[b: Int]() -> Int:
return a + b # capture 'a'

take_func[inner]() # pass 'inner' as a parameter

However, note that parameter closures are always capture by unsafe reference. Mojo's lifetime tracking is not yet sophisticated enough to form safe references to objects (see above section). This means that variable lifetimes need to be manually extended according to the lifetime of the parametric closure:

fn print_it[f: fn() capturing -> String]():

fn call_it():
var s: String = "hello world"
fn inner() -> String:
return s # 's' captured by reference, so a copy is made here
# lifetime tracker destroys 's' here

print_it[inner]() # crash! 's' has been destroyed

The lifetime of the variable can be manually extended by discarding it explicitly.

fn call_it():
var s: String = "hello world"
fn inner() -> String:
return s

_ = s^ # discard 's' explicitly

The standard library has limited exceptions use​

For historic and performance reasons, core standard library types typically do not use exceptions. For instance, DynamicVector will not raise an out-of-bounds access (it will crash), and Int does not throw on divide by zero. In other words, most standard library types are considered "unsafe".

var v = DynamicVector[Int](capacity=0)
print(v[1]) # could crash or print garbage values (undefined behaviour)

print(1//0) # does not raise and could print anything (undefined behaviour)

This is clearly unacceptable given the strong memory safety goals of Mojo. We will circle back to this when more language features and language-level optimizations are available.

Nested functions cannot be recursive​

Nested functions (any function that is not a top-level function) cannot be recursive in any way. Nested functions are considered "parameters", and although parameter values do not have to obey lexical order, their uses and definitions cannot form a cycle. Current limitations in Mojo mean that nested functions, which are considered parameter values, cannot be cyclic.

fn try_recursion():
fn bar(x: Int): # error: circular reference :<
if x < 10:
bar(x + 1)

Only certain loaded MLIR dialects can be accessed​

Although Mojo provides features to access the full power of MLIR, in reality only a certain number of loaded MLIR dialects can be accessed in the Playground at the moment.

The upstream dialects available in the Playground are the index dialect and the LLVM dialect.

@value is limited with trait conformance check​

Structs with @value decorator still need to explicitly provide dundner methods such as __init__, __copyinit__, and __moveinit__ when both of the following are true:

  • The struct has one or more fields that are self referencing (such as Pointer[Self]).
  • The struct declares conformance to a trait that requires these dunder methods.
# test.mojo
struct A(CollectionElement):
# error: 'DynamicVector' parameter #0 has 'CollectionElement' type, but value has type 'A'
var a: DynamicVector[Self]

In the example above, adding the __moveinit__() and __copyinit__() methods required by CollectionElement resolves this error.

or expression is statically typed​

Because Mojo has static typing, the or expression can't currently mimic the behavior of Python. In Python, the result type of the or expression is dynamic, based on the runtime values:

i: int = 0
s: str = "hello"
print(type(i or s)) # prints <class 'str'>
i = 5
print(type(i or s)) # prints <class 'int'>

In Mojo, given the expression (a or b), the compiler needs to statically determine a result type that the types of a and b can both be converted to.

For example, currently an Int can be implicitly converted to a String, but a String can't be implicitly converted to an Int. So given an integer value i and a string value s, the value of (i or s) will always be a String.

StringLiteral behaves differently than String​

String literals behave differently than String values in Mojo code. For example:

fn main():
var g: Int = 0
var h: String = "hello"
print(g or h) # prints `hello`
print(g or "hello") # prints `True`

While the IntLiteral and FloatLiteral types convert or materialize at runtime into Int and Float64 values, respectively, string literals continue to exist at runtime as StringLiteral values. This can result in surprising behavior because StringLiteral has a more restricted API than String.

In the example above, because the or expression is statically typed, and Int cannot be implicitly converted to a StringLiteral, the compiler chooses a result type that both Int and StringLiteral can be converted toβ€”in this case, Bool.

We plan to address this issue in the future, but in the near term, you can avoid the inconsistency between StringLiteral and String problems by explicitly converting string literals to String values. For example:

var h: String = "hello"
# or
print(g or str("hello"))