A Framework for Implementing Pluggable Type Systems

Proceedings of the Conference on Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages, and Applications (OOPSLA 2006), Portland, Oregon, October 22-26, 2006.
Chris Andreae, James Noble, Shane Markstrum, Todd Millstein
Pluggable types have been proposed to support multiple type systems in the same programming language. We have designed and implemented JavaCOP, a program constraint system for implementing practical pluggable type systems for Java. JavaCOP enforces user-defined typing constraints written in a declarative and expressive rule language. We have validated our design by (re)implementing a range of type systems and program checkers. By using a program constraint system to implement pluggable types, programmers are able to check that their programs will operate correctly in restricted environments, adhere to strict programming rules, avoid null pointer errors or scoped memory exceptions, and meet style guidelines, while programming language researchers can easily experiment with novel type systems.

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