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Roles for Owners - Work in progress -

Sophia Drossopoulou, David Clarke, James Noble

Conference or Workshop Paper
IWACO 2011
July, 2011
ACM Digital Library
ACM Press
Abstract

Ownership types were proposed to characterize the topology

of objects on the heap. They notionally organize objects

into boxes, and each box belongs to an object { its owner.

In most ownership-based systems, the box protects the object

from its environment in some way. Thus, the owner may play

the owners-as-dominators role, whereby the owner restricts

access to the objects in a box, (i.e. the \outside" may not

access the \inside"), or, the owner may play the owners-asmodi

ers role, whereby the owner restricts modi cation of

the objects in a box (i.e. the \outside" may not modify the

\inside").

We propose the dual protection, whereby the box pro-

tects the environment from the object. We suggest two further roles: in owners-as-restrictors, the owner restricts access from the object (i.e. the \inside" may not access the \outside"), and in owners-as-filters, the owner restricts the range of modifications from an object (i.e. the \inside" may not modify the \outside").

We explore the design space for possible exact meanings for the four roles. We de ne the meanings of these roles in terms of the guarantees they make about the heap and about executions.

We sketch parts of a language which supports all four roles, and which allows any of the owner parameters to play any of these four roles. These roles may be enforced statically, dynamically, or via a combination of both.

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