HP Labs Technical Reports

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User-Defined Behavior of Generic Functions

Kent, William



Abstract: Specific functions having a given name imply the existence of a generic function with that name. Allowing users to explicitly define behavior of generic functions to override the behavior implicitly defined by the system permits: -different behaviors of generic functions for different argument types. -Disambiguation of ambiguous calls to overloaded functions. -Different results types for overloaded functions with the same mane. -Default values for functions not defined on certain types. -A limited form of upward inheritance. -Multi-function uniqueness and equivalence specifications. This capability is being proposed as an extension to OSQL. Besides their general utility, these features are particularly useful for multidatabase systems.

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