Visible to the public Wyvern: A Simple, Typed, and Pure Object-oriented Language

TitleWyvern: A Simple, Typed, and Pure Object-oriented Language
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsNistor, Ligia, Kurilova, Darya, Balzer, Stephanie, Chung, Benjamin, Potanin, Alex, Aldrich, Jonathan
Conference NameProceedings of the 5th Workshop on MechAnisms for SPEcialization, Generalization and inHerItance
Conference LocationMontpellier, France
ISBN Number978-1-4503-2046-7
KeywordsA Language and Framework for Development of Secure Mobile Applications, CMU, first-class classes, Human Behavior, object-oriented, Scalability and Composability, science of security, SoS Lablet, static type checking
AbstractThe simplest and purest practical object-oriented language designs today are seen in dynamically-typed languages, such as Smalltalk and Self. Static types, however, have potential benefits for productivity, security, and reasoning about programs. In this paper, we describe the design of Wyvern, a statically typed, pure object-oriented language that attempts to retain much of the simplicity and expressiveness of these iconic designs. Our goals lead us to combine pure object-oriented and functional abstractions in a simple, typed setting. We present a foundational object-based language that we believe to be as close as one can get to simple typed lambda calculus while keeping object-orientation. We show how this foundational language can be translated to the typed lambda calculus via standard encodings. We then define a simple extension to this language that introduces classes and show that classes are no more than sugar for the foundational object-based language. Our future intention is to demonstrate that modules and other object-oriented features can be added to our language as not more than such syntactical extensions while keeping the object-oriented core as pure as possible. The design of Wyvern closely follows both historical and modern ideas about the essence of object-orientation, suggesting a new way to think about a minimal, practical, typed core language for objects.
Citation KeyNistor:2013:WST:2489828.2489830