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UBC Theses and Dissertations

PyRemote : object mobility in the Python programming language Häggholm, Petter

Abstract

The current trend in computation is one of concurrency and multiprocessors. Large supercomputers have long been eclipsed in popularity by cheaper clusters of small computers. In recent years, desktop processors with multiple cores have become commonplace. A plethora of languages, tools, and techniques for dealing with concurrency already exist. Where concurrency and multiprocessors meet modern, highly dynamic languages, however, is uncharted territory. Traditional distributed systems, however complex, tend to be simplified by assumptions of type consistency. Even in systems where types and not merely instances and primitive objects can be serialised and distributed, it is usually the case that such types are assumed to be static. The Python programming language, as an example of a modern language with highly dynamic types, presents novel challenges, in that classes may be altered at runtime, both through the addition, removal, or modification of attributes such as member variables and methods, and through modifications to the type's inheritance hierarchy. This thesis presents a system called PyRemote which aims to explore some of the issues surrounding type semantics in this environment.

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