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First-class relationships in an object-oriented language

Gavin Bierman and Alisdair Wren

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


In this paper we investigate the addition of first-class relationships to a prototypical object-oriented programming language (a "middleweight" fragment of Java). We provide language-level constructs to declare relationships between classes and to manipulate relationship instances. We allow relationships to have attributes and provide a novel notion of relationship inheritance. We formalize our language giving both the type system and operational semantics and prove certain key safety properties.


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