Generics and Reverse Generics for Dynamic Languages

Generics and Reverse Generics for Pharo

Generic programming is a mechanism for re-using code by abstracting specific types used in classes and programs. In this paper, we present a mechanism for adding generic programming in dynamically typed languages, showing how programmers can benefit from generic programming. Furthermore, we enhance the expressiveness of generic programming with reverse generics, a mechanism for automatically deriving new generic code starting from existing non-generic one. We implemented generics and reverse generics in Pharo Smalltalk, and we successfully used them to solve a problem of reusing unit test cases. This helped us to identify a number of bugs and anomalies in the stream class hierarchy