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Methods as Assertions John Lamping 1 , Mart'in Abadi 2

Summary: Methods as Assertions
John Lamping 1 , Mart'in Abadi 2
1 Xerox PARC
3333 Coyote Hill Road, Palo Alto CA 94304, USA
2 Digital Equipment Corporation Systems Research Center
130 Lytton Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94301, USA
Abstract. A method definition can be viewed as a logical assertion.
Whenever we declare a method as the implementation of an operation,
we assert that if the operation is invoked on objects of the appropriate
types then the method body will satisfy the specification of the opera­
tion. This view of methods as assertions is simple but general. Among its
applications are: methods defined on interfaces as well as on classes; an
elementary type system for objects that handles multi­methods; and a
mechanism for method dispatch based on the desired output type as well
as on the types of arguments. Further, these applications are compatible
with traditional execution models and implementation techniques. Logi­
cal reasoning about methods plays a role at compile time, then gets out
of the way.


Source: Abadi, Martín - Department of Computer Science, University of California at Santa Cruz


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences