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Tickling Java with a Feather

Tristan Allwood, Susan Eisenbach

Electronic Journal Article
Language Descriptions Tools and Applications 08
Electronic Notes in Theoretical Computer Science

Fragments of mainstream programming languages are formalised in order to show desirable properties of their static semantics. We ask if said formalisms could also be used to define a test suite for the mainstream programming language in question, and what the utility of such a suite would be.

In this work, we present our findings from testing Java with Featherweight Java (FJ). We take the syntax and binding structure of FJ to define an instance space of non-isomorphic test programs and implementations of FJ type checkers to provide oracles for our tests, to ensure the mainstream implementation conforms with the expectations of FJ. Using these, we evaluate (using code coverage techniques) how much of the Sun OpenJDK javac can be tested by FJ.

Software Maintenance
Distributed Software Engineering
Java Semantics
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