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Journal Articles Science of Computer Programming Year : 2014

Bootstrapping Reflective Systems: The Case of Pharo


Bootstrapping is a technique commonly known by its usage in language definition by the introduction of a compiler written in the same language it compiles. This process is important to understand and modify the definition of a given language using the same language, taking benefit of the abstractions and expression power it provides. A bootstrap, then, supports the evolution of a language. However, the infrastructure of reflective systems like Smalltalk includes, in addition to a compiler, an environment with several self-references. A reflective system bootstrap should consider all its infrastructural components. In this paper, we propose a definition of bootstrap for object-oriented reflective systems, we describe the architecture and components it should contain and we analyze the challenges it has to overcome. Finally, we present a reference bootstrap process for a reflective system and Hazelnut, its implementation for bootstrapping the Pharo Smalltalk-inspired system.
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hal-00903724 , version 1 (12-11-2013)



Guillermo Polito, Stéphane Ducasse, Luc Fabresse, Noury Bouraqadi, Benjamin van Ryseghem. Bootstrapping Reflective Systems: The Case of Pharo. Science of Computer Programming, 2014, 96, pp.18. ⟨10.1016/j.scico.2013.10.008⟩. ⟨hal-00903724⟩
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