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Independently Extensible Solutions to the Expression Problem

Matthias Zenger, Martin Odersky

Presented at Foundations of Object-Oriented Languages (FOOL 2005), Long Beach, California (in conjunction with POPL), Saturday 15 January 2005


The expression problem is fundamental for the development of extensible software. Many (partial) solutions to this problem have been proposed in the past, but the question of how to use different, independent extensions jointly has received less attention so far. This paper proposes solutions to the expression problem that make it possible to combine independent extensions in a flexible, modular, and type-safe way. The solutions, formulated in the programming language Scala, are affected with only a small implementation overhead and are relatively easy to implement by hand.


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