Matriona: Class Nesting with Parameterization in Squeak/Smalltalk

Matriona: Class Nesting with Parameterization in Squeak/Smalltalk

Matthias Springer, Fabio Niephaus, Robert Hirschfeld, Hidehiko Masuhara

01 November 2016

We present Matriona, a module system for Squeak, a Smalltalk dialect. It supports class nesting and parameterization and is based on a hierarchical name lookup mechanism. Matriona solves a range of modularity issues in Squeak. Instead of a flat class organization, it provides a hierarchical namespace, that avoids name clashes and allows for shorter local names. Furthermore, it provides a way to share behavior among classes and modules using mixins and class hierarchy inheritance (a form of inheritance that subclasses an entire class family), respectively. Finally, it allows modules to be externally configurable, which is a form of dependency management decoupling a module from the actual implementation of its dependencies. Matriona is implemented on top of Squeak by introducing a new keyword for run-time name lookups through a reflective mechanism, without modifying the underlying virtual machine. We evaluate Matriona with a series of small applications and will demonstrate how its features can benefit modularity when porting a simple application written in plain Squeak to Matriona.

Venue : Modularity 2016

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