A specification language design for the Java Modeling Language (JML) using Java 5 annotations

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2008-01-01
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Taylor, Kristina
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Gary T. Leavens
Krishna Rajan
Hridesh Rajan
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Computer Science

Computer Science—the theory, representation, processing, communication and use of information—is fundamentally transforming every aspect of human endeavor. The Department of Computer Science at Iowa State University advances computational and information sciences through; 1. educational and research programs within and beyond the university; 2. active engagement to help define national and international research, and 3. educational agendas, and sustained commitment to graduating leaders for academia, industry and government.

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The Computer Science Department was officially established in 1969, with Robert Stewart serving as the founding Department Chair. Faculty were composed of joint appointments with Mathematics, Statistics, and Electrical Engineering. In 1969, the building which now houses the Computer Science department, then simply called the Computer Science building, was completed. Later it was named Atanasoff Hall. Throughout the 1980s to present, the department expanded and developed its teaching and research agendas to cover many areas of computing.

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1969-present

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Design by contract specification languages help programmers write their intentions for a piece of code in a formal mathematical language. Most programming languages do not have built-in syntax for such specifications, so many design by contract languages place specifications in comments. The Java Modeling Language (JML) is one such specification language for Java that uses comments to specify contracts. However, starting with version 5, Java has introduced annotations, a syntactical structure to place metadata in various places in the code. This thesis proposes an initial design to writing JML contracts in the Java 5 annotation syntax and evaluates several criteria in the areas of specification languages and Java language design: whether these annotations are expressive enough to take advantage of annotation simplicity and tool support, and whether the annotation syntax is expressive enough to support handling a large specification language such as JML.

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Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2008