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MELDC: A Reflective Object-Oriented Coordination Language

Department of Computer Science, Columbia University
Publication Date
  • Computer Science
  • Computer Science
  • Design


A coordination language, MELDC, for open systems programming is presented. MELDC is a C-based, concurrent, distributed object-oriented language built on a reflective architecture. Unlike other language research, the focus of MELDC is not only to study what specific language features should be designed for solving certain open system problems but also to provide programmers a high-level and efficient way to construct new features without modifying the language internals. The key to the reflective feature is the metaclass that supports shadow objects to implement secondary behaviors of objects. Thus, the behavior of an object can be extended by dynamically composing multiple secondary behaviors with the object’s primary behavior defined in the class. In this paper, both the MELDC programming model and the reflective architecture are described. Then, we introduce the mechanism of dynamic composition as well as its application in building distributed and persistent systems. In particular, a soft real-time network management system, MELDNET, is built on top of MELDC to monitor the EtherNet performance. Finally, the current status of MELDC is given.

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