Reflection in a Statically Typed and Object Oriented Language - A Meta-Level Interface for BETA - Abstract
Computer Science Department, Aarhus University
Ny Munkegade, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
This technical report is concerned with issues of type safe and type
orthogonal computational reflection in a statically typed, object
oriented, and block structured programming language. The main new
contributions is the design of a comprehensive meta-level interface
for a statically typed language, the introduction of more flexible
typing constraints for BETA than currently possible, and the
description of a novel language construct, the attribute
The BETA type system is made more flexible through a generalisation of
the qualification concept, adding considerably to the expressive
power of BETA, but without adding new syntax.
Existing BETA already includes types as first-class values, through
the concept of dynamic pattern references. With the advent of
attribute references, attributes are turned into first-class language
citizens as well, allowing type-safe computed attribute access.
On top of the generalised qualification concept and the concept of
attribute references, a comprehensive meta-level interface to the BETA
language is described, along with a number of example uses. Finally, a
meta-level architecture enabling the practical implementation of the
MLI for a statically typed language is outlined.
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