Homogeneous family sharing

Xin Qi and Andrew C. Myers

Cornell University

Reno, Nevada, USA, October 17–21, 2010


Recent work has introduced class sharing as a mechanism for adapting a family of related classes with new functionality. This paper introduces homogeneous family sharing, implemented in the J&h language, in which the sharing mechanism is lifted from class-level sharing to true family-level sharing. Compared to the original (heterogeneous) class sharing mechanism, homogeneous family sharing provides useful new functionality and substantially reduces the annotation burden on programmers by eliminating the need for masked types and sharing declarations. This is achieved through a new mechanism, shadow classes, which permit homogeneous sharing of all related classes in shared families. The new sharing mechanism has a straightforward semantics, which is formalized in the J&h calculus. The soundness of the J&h type system is proved. The J&h language has been implemented as an extension of the J& language, and used to port the Polyglot compiler framework.

Full paper (PDF) ] [ Technical report ] [ J& web site ]