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Foundations of Object-Oriented Languages: Types and Semantics

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0262025232
ISBN-10: 026202523X
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kim B. Bruce is Frederick Latimer Wells Professor of Computer Science at Williams College.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 404 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (March 21, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 026202523X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262025232
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,802,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By wiredweird HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a useful introduction to the theory behind data types in object oriented (OO) languages. It starts at a very readable pace. The first section (about 100 pages) covers the basics of OO languages and OO features, and establishes a working vocabulary. For example, it introduces the very distinct notions of subclass and subtype early on. That is important, if only because words like "subtype" have different meanings when used by different authors. Barbara Liskov, for example, used a semantic definition for "subtype" in her famous substitutability principle, a definition that can not be checked by automatic tools. Here, the definition talks only about the information you might find in a Java interface or C++ abstract class, and can be checked automatically. This early discussion also defines the problem to be solved: creating programming languages that are richly expressive, that compile to efficient code, and that are rigorously type safe, goals that often conflict. The clear statement of the problem is very informative, by itself, and casual readers might stop at this point.

The next brief section defines a mathematical notation, a lambda calculus, for discussing types. In this calculus, a "record" or "struct" keyword is an operator that aggregates other types together into a new unit, and C++ templates are functions that generate new types. This calculus feeds into a formal logic that proves statements about types the same way standard arithmetic proves statements about numbers.

This isn't nearly as daunting as a normal proof of program correctness, by the way. Behavioral correctness deals with a program's changes of state over time; this treats the program as a static, compile-time entity.
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Format: Hardcover
While more practical than some books, this is still a lot of theory and notation.
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