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A Case-Study in Encoding Configuration Languages: Multiple Class Loaders

Sonia Fagorzi and Elena Zucca, DISI, Università di Genova, Italy

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The contribution of the paper is twofold. First, we define a toy language, called MCL, which provides a very abstract view of the mechanism of dynamic class loading with multiple loaders as in Java. The aim is to study this feature in isolation, allowing a better understanding; moreover, this also shows a stratified approach, which, differently from the Java approach based on reflection, distinguishes between the language at the user level and the configuration language. This approach is less flexible but allows to statically check type safety, hence provides an intermediate solution between the rigid approach based only on the class path and that which allows loaders to depend on execution of user applications, which can be intricate and error-prone.

The second contribution is related to a recent stream of work aiming at defining simple and powerful calculi providing a common foundation for systems supporting dynamic reconfiguration. We use MCL as an extended case-study, by defining an encoding in one of these kernel calculi, and prove the correctness of the translation.

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About the authors


Sonia Fagorzi is a Ph.D. student in Computer Science at the University of Genova since February 2002. Her research interests are in the area of programming languages; in particular, design and foundations of modular and object-oriented languages and systems. She can be reached at fagorzi@disi.unige.it. See also http://www.disi.unige.it/person/FagorziS/.


Elena Zucca Associate professor at the University of Genova since 1999, previously assistant professor at the University of Genova since 1989. Author of more than 40 papers in international journals and conferences. Her main research contributions are in the semantics and specification of concurrent and object-oriented languages, extension of algebraic techniques to dynamic systems, module calculi, type systems and semantics of Java-like languages. She can be reached at zucca@disi.unige.it. See also http://www.disi.unige.it/person/ZuccaE/.


Cite this article as follows: Sonia Fagorzi, Elena Zucca: ”A Case-Study in Encoding Configuration Languages: Multiple Class Loaders”, in Journal of Object Technology, vol. 3, no. 11, December 2004, Special issue: OOPS track at SAC 2004, Nicosia/Cyprus, pp. 31–53, http://www.jot.fm/issues/issue_2004_12/article2

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