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A theory of mixin modules: basic and derived operators

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 August 1998

DAVIDE ANCONA
Affiliation:
Dipartimento di Informatica e Scienze dell'Informazione, Via Dodecaneso, 35, 16146 Genova (Italy). Email: {davide, zucca}@disi.unige.it
ELENA ZUCCA
Affiliation:
Dipartimento di Informatica e Scienze dell'Informazione, Via Dodecaneso, 35, 16146 Genova (Italy). Email: {davide, zucca}@disi.unige.it

Abstract

Mixins are modules in which some components are deferred, that is, their definition has to be provided by another module. Moreover, in contrast to parameterized modules (like ML functors), mixin modules can be mutually dependent and their composition supports the redefinition of components (overriding). In this paper, we present a formal model of mixins and their basic composition operators. These operators can be viewed as a kernel language with clean semantics in which one can express more complex operators of existing modular languages, including variants of inheritance in object-oriented programming. Our formal model is given in an ‘institution independent’ way, that is, it is parameterized by the semantic framework modelling the underlying core language.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
1998 Cambridge University Press

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Footnotes

This work has been partially supported by Murst 40% (Modelli della computazione e dei linguaggi di programmazione) and CNR (Formalismi per la specifica e la descrizione di sistemi ad oggetti).