Why we should not add readonly to Java (yet)

By: John Boyland


In this paper, I examine some of reasons that “read-only” style qualifiers have been proposed for Java, and also the principles behind the rules for these new qualifiers. I find that there is a mismatch between some of the motivating problems and the pro-posed solutions. In particular, most have an overly restrictive “transitivity” rule, and all encourage “observational exposure” as a way to prevent representation exposure. Thus I urge Java designers to proceed with caution when adopting a solution to these sets of problems.

Cite as:

John Boyland, “Why we should not add readonly to Java (yet)”, Journal of Object Technology, Volume 5, no. 5 (June 2006), pp. 5-29, doi:10.5381/jot.2006.5.5.a1.

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