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Fickle: Dynamic Object Re-classification

Sophia Drossopoulou, Ferruccio Damiani, Dezani Dezani-Ciancaglini, Paola Giannini

Conference or Workshop Paper
15 European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming (ECOOP 2001)
Eurepean Conference for Object-Oriented Programming
June, 2001
Springer Verlag

Re-classification changes at run-time the class membership of an object while retaining its identity. We suggest language features for object re-classification,which could extend an imperative, typed, class-based, object-oriented language. We present our proposal through the language Fickle. (Fickle is the successor of an earlier proposal, Fickle-99; although both Fickle and Fickle-99 address the same requirement for object re-classification, the approaches are very different).

The imperative features combined with the requirement for a static and safe type system provided the main challenges. We develop a type and effect system for Fickle and prove its soundness with respect to the operational semantics. In particular, even though objects may be re-classified across classes with different members, they will never attempt to access non-existing members.

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