Monday, Afternoon
Design by Contract
Convention Ctr – 211D
James McKim, Rensselaer-Hartford
Richard Mitchell, InferData Corporation

Design by Contract involves using assertions (preconditions, postconditions, and invariants) to help designers document, reason about, and check properties of their software artifacts. By building up examples in Eiffel and Java, the tutorial will introduce a method for designing contracts, based on a set of principles and guidelines for their effective use.

Attendees will learn a set of principles and guidelines they can use to rigorously specify their class designs and hence achieve better designs, clearer documentation, and easier verification.

Presentation Format: The presenters will work through a series of carefully selected examples, building up hand-written slides on the way. These will be made available to attendees after OOPSLA via the Web, together with notes to remind attendees of the significance of the slides. As principles and guidelines emerge, summary slides will be used to support reviewing them. These slides, and prepared solutions to the examples, will form the tutorial notes available in advance.

Attendee Background: Attendees should have a good working knowledge of an object-oriented programming language, and a curiosity about how formal documentation can help express a design and check its implementation. No knowledge of mathematical notations is assumed.

Jim McKim is Clinical Professor and Chair of the Computer and Information Sciences Department of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has been teaching, publishing, and consulting in the OO arena for six years, focusing on design by contract.

Richard Mitchell has worked with object technology since the late 1980s, in research, teaching, and consultancy. He is now with InferData Corporation, a US training and consulting company. He has used contracts at both the analysis and design levels.

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