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A Theory of Objects (Monographs in Computer Science) Hardcover – April 23, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0387947754 ISBN-10: 0387947752 Edition: Corrected
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Product Details

  • Series: Monographs in Computer Science
  • Hardcover: 396 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; Corrected edition (April 23, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0387947752
  • ISBN-13: 978-0387947754
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,375,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By wiredweird HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Abadi and Cardelli have written a very thorough, formal analysis of the basic theory of object oriented (OO) languages. The first parts of the book present the mathematical tools needed for the discussion. There, they extend formal logic so that it can make statements about classes and subclasses, the kind of statements that must be made in order to determine whether a program, even a whole programming language, make good sense.

The authors introduce a notation I haven't seen elsewhere, having to do with the object instance bound to a method instance. This subtlety describes a number of language constructs, including Java's inner classes. They add further notation for describing languages where object structure can be highly dynamic. Although of theoretical interest, the dynamics do not apply directly to commercial OO languages such as Java, C++, or Ada. Dynamics may also complicate reasoning about the type systems. Other type analyses are simplified by acting on the static program representation. Dynamic analysis will have to invoke heavier mechanisms, like the ones used in traditional formal verification of programs.

I have to admit that I haven't gone through the book's entire content because that discussion doesn't address my current needs. Right now, I'm working with very static systems; this book creates solutions for problems that I don't have. Still, I've gotten some value out of the basic discussion of covariance and contravariance in subclassing, so the book has helped me somewhat.

This book is intended for researchers in computing theory, or possibly for practitioners who develop languages and language tools. It's way beyond the needs of most OO programmers, and is decidedly not for OO beginners. If you need deep, rigorous understanding of OO foundations, beyond what's needed for mainstream languages or applications, then this book may be very helpful.

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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Lee D. Carlson HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on August 30, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book attempts to give a kind of "lambda calculus" for objects in OOP (object-oriented programming)and does a fine job in that regard. For those interested in the foundations of programming languages, this book will be interesting reading and it no doubt will play a role in applications such as artificial intelligence and computational linguistics. The formalism is deep and highly abstract, but this should be no surprise to those readers who are familiar with the foundational essays on other programming paradigms, such as logic programming and functional programming.
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