• Winâ Foy : functional object-oriented programming language

      Foy, Grant.; Department of Computer Science (Brock University, 2009-01-28)
      This thesis will introduce a new strongly typed programming language utilizing Self types, named Win--*Foy, along with a suitable user interface designed specifically to highlight language features. The need for such a programming language is based on deficiencies found in programming languages that support both Self types and subtyping. Subtyping is a concept that is taken for granted by most software engineers programming in object-oriented languages. Subtyping supports subsumption but it does not support the inheritance of binary methods. Binary methods contain an argument of type Self, the same type as the object itself, in a contravariant position, i.e. as a parameter. There are several arguments in favour of introducing Self types into a programming language (11. This rationale led to the development of a relation that has become known as matching [4, 5). The matching relation does not support subsumption, however, it does support the inheritance of binary methods. Two forms of matching have been proposed (lJ. Specifically, these relations are known as higher-order matching and I-bound matching. Previous research on these relations indicates that the higher-order matching relation is both reflexive and transitive whereas the f-bound matching is reflexive but not transitive (7]. The higher-order matching relation provides significant flexibility regarding inheritance of methods that utilize or return values of the same type. This flexibility, in certain situations, can restrict the programmer from defining specific classes and methods which are based on constant values [21J. For this reason, the type This is used as a second reference to the type of the object that cannot, contrary to Self, be specialized in subclasses. F-bound matching allows a programmer to define a function that will work for all types of A', a subtype of an upper bound function of type A, with the result type being dependent on A'. The use of parametric polymorphism in f-bound matching provides a connection to subtyping in object-oriented languages. This thesis will contain two main sections. Firstly, significant details concerning deficiencies of the subtype relation and the need to introduce higher-order and f-bound matching relations into programming languages will be explored. Secondly, a new programming language named Win--*Foy Functional Object-Oriented Programming Language has been created, along with a suitable user interface, in order to facilitate experimentation by programmers regarding the matching relation. The construction of the programming language and the user interface will be explained in detail.