Preliminary Design of JML: A Behavioral Interface Specification Language for Java

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2006-01-01
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Leavens, Gary
Baker, Albert
Ruby, Clyde
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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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JML is a behavioral interface specification language tailored to Java(TM). Besides pre- and postconditions, it also allows assertions to be intermixed with Java code; these aid verification and debugging. JML is designed to be used by working software engineers; to do this it follows Eiffel in using Java expressions in assertions. JML combines this idea from Eiffel with the model-based approach to specifications, typified by VDM and Larch, which results in greater expressiveness. Other expressiveness advantages over Eiffel include quantifiers, specification-only variables, and frame conditions. This paper discusses the goals of JML, the overall approach, and describes the basic features of the language through examples. It is intended for readers who have some familiarity with both Java and behavioral specification using pre- and postconditions.

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Copyright © 1998-2006 Iowa State University

This document is part of JML and is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Sofware Foundation; either version 2, or (at your option) any later version.

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