Mirages: behavioral intercession in a mirror-based architecture

Stijn Mostinckx, Tom Van Cutsem, Stijn Timbermont, √Čric Tanter. Mirages: behavioral intercession in a mirror-based architecture. In Pascal Costanza, Robert Hirschfeld, editors, Proceedings of the 2007 Symposium on Dynamic Languages, DLS 2007, October 22, 2007, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. pages 89-100, ACM, 2007. [doi]

Abstract

Mirror-based systems are object-oriented reflective architectures built around a set of design principles that lead to reflective APIs which foster a high degree of reusability, loose coupling with base-level objects and whose structure and design corresponds to the system being mirrored. However, support for behavioral intercession has been limited in contemporary mirror-based architectures, in spite of its many interesting applications. This is due to the fact that mirror-based architectures only support explicit reflection, while behavioral intercession requires implicit reflection. This work reconciles mirrors with behavioral intercession. We discuss the design of a mirror-based architecture with implicit mirrors that can be absorbed in the interpreter, and mirages, base objects whose semantics are defined by implicit mirrors. We describe and illustrate the integration of this reflective architecture for the distributed object-oriented programming language AmbientTalk.