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|Title: ||Reflection and hyper-programming in persistent programming systems|
|Authors: ||Kirby, Graham Njal Cameron|
|Supervisors: ||Morrison, Ron|
|Keywords: ||Computer software|
|Issue Date: ||1992|
|Abstract: ||In an orthogonally persistent programming system, data is treated in a manner independent of
its persistence. This gives simpler semantics, allows the programmer to ignore details of
long-term data storage and enables type checking protection mechanisms to operate over the
entire lifetime of the data.
The ultimate goal of persistent programming language research is to reduce the costs of
producing software. The work presented in this thesis seeks to improve programmer
productivity in the following ways:
• by reducing the amount of code that has to be written to construct an application;
• by increasing the reliability of the code written; and
• by improving the programmer’s understanding of the persistent environment in which
applications are constructed.
Two programming techniques that may be used to pursue these goals in a persistent
environment are type-safe linguistic reflection and hyper-programming. The first provides a
mechanism by which the programmer can write generators that, when executed, produce new
program representations. This allows the specification of programs that are highly generic
yet depend in non-trivial ways on the types of the data on which they operate. Genericity
promotes software reuse which in turn reduces the amount of new code that has to be written.
Hyper-programming allows a source program to contain links to data items in the persistent
store. This improves program reliability by allowing certain program checking to be
performed earlier than is otherwise possible. It also reduces the amount of code written by
permitting direct links to data in the place of textual descriptions.
Both techniques contribute to the understanding of the persistent environment through
supporting the implementation of store browsing tools and allowing source representations to
be associated with all executable programs in the persistent store.
This thesis describes in detail the structure of type-safe linguistic reflection and hyper-programming,
their benefits in the persistent context, and a suite of programming tools that
support reflective programming and hyper-programming. These tools may be used in
conjunction to allow reflection over hyper-program representations. The implementation of
the tools is described.|
|Publisher: ||University of St Andrews|
|Appears in Collections:||Computer Science Theses|
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