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Managing Gradual Typing with Message-Safety in Dart

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  • Erik Ernst, Denmark
  • Anders Møller
  • Mathias Romme Schwarz, Denmark
  • Fabio Strocco, Denmark
This paper establishes a notion of message-safe programs as a natural intermediate point between dynamically typed and statically typed Dart programs.
Unlike traditional static type checking, the type system in the Dart programming language is unsound by design. The rationale has been that this allows compile-time detection of likely errors and enables code completion in integrated development environments, without being restrictive on programmers. We show that, despite unsoundness, judicious use of type annotations can ensure useful properties of the runtime behavior of Dart programs. This supports evolution from a dynamically typed programto a strictly statically typed form.
We present a formal model of Dart that elucidates how a core of the language and its standard type system works. This allows us to characterize message-safe programs and present a theorem stating that such programs will never cause ‘message not understood’ errors, which is generally not guaranteed for Dart programs that pass the standard type checker. The formal model has been expressed in Coq.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year2014
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventInternational Workshop on Foundations of Object-Oriented Languages - Portland, United States
Duration: 20 Oct 201420 Oct 2014
Conference number: 21


WorkshopInternational Workshop on Foundations of Object-Oriented Languages
CountryUnited States

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