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dc.contributor.advisor Cartwright, Robert S.
dc.creatorFagan, Mike
dc.date.accessioned 2009-06-03T23:58:01Z
dc.date.available 2009-06-03T23:58:01Z
dc.date.issued 1991
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/1911/16439
dc.description.abstract In an effort to avoid improper use of program functions, modern programming languages employ some kind of preventative type system. These type systems can be classified as either static or dynamic. Static type systems detect "ill-typed" program phrases at compile-time, whereas dynamic type systems detect "ill-typed" phrases at run-time. Static typing systems have two important advantages over dynamically typed systems: First, they provide important feedback to the programmer by detecting a large class of program errors before execution. Second, they extract information that a compiler can exploit to produce more efficient code. The price paid for these advantages, however, is a loss of expressiveness and modularity. It is easy to prove that a static type system for an "interesting" programming language necessarily excludes some "good" programs. This paper focuses on the problem of designing programming systems that retain the all the expressiveness of dynamic typing, but still offer the early error detection and improved optimization opportunities of static typing. To that end, we introduce a concept called soft typing. The key concept of soft typing is that a type checker need not reject programs containing statically "ill-typed" phrases. Instead, the soft type checker inserts explicit run-time checks. Thus, there are two issues to be addressed in the design of soft typing systems. First, the typing mechanism must provide reasonable feedback to programmers accustomed to dynamically typed-languages. Current static systems fail to satisfy the programmer's intuition about correctness on many programs. Second, a soft typing system must sensibly insert run-time checks (when necessary). This paper develops a type system and checking algorithms that are suitable for soft typing a significant class of programming languages.
dc.format.extent 174 p.
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso eng
dc.subjectComputer science
dc.title Soft typing: An approach to type checking for dynamically typed languages
dc.type.genre Thesis
dc.type.material Text
thesis.degree.department Computer Science
thesis.degree.discipline Engineering
thesis.degree.grantor Rice University
thesis.degree.level Doctoral
thesis.degree.name Doctor of Philosophy
dc.identifier.citation Fagan, Mike. "Soft typing: An approach to type checking for dynamically typed languages." (1991) Diss., Rice University. https://hdl.handle.net/1911/16439.


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