Interoperability in a Scripted World: Putting
Inheritance & Prototypes Together
Kathryn E. Gray
Scripting languages are used to quickly and easily develop or extend
programs. Frequently, these scripted programs are combined with
libraries and other programs from conventional languages to build more
complex applications. Bridging the gap between different languages
requires manual data conversions and dynamic checks which can
introduce subtle errors.
Language and compiler support for interoperability can simplify the
task of writing programs with multiple languages. Our previous
compilation techniques allow any given value to pass from one language
to another and be used as a native value for languages with similar
runtime semantics. In this paper, we support interoperability between
languages with different runtime semantics while still allowing a free
exchange of values and maintaining type-safety.
We consider interoperation between two object-oriented lan- guages
with different means of extension and different treatment of
object-members--Java, with class-based inheritance, separation of
fields and methods, and statically Þxed object structure, versus
mutable object structure. To allow a Java object to pass to
mingle class-based and prototype-based inheritance to combine the
different representations of objects and object extension without
losing the ßexibility or guarantees of either.
Presented at FOOL'10; Sunday, 17 October
2010, Reno, Nevada, USA.