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Traits are an object-oriented programming language construct that allow groups of methods to be named and reused in arbitrary places in an inheritance hierarchy. Classes can use methods from traits as well as defining their own methods and instance variables. Traits thus enable a new style of programming, in which traits rather than classes are the primary unit of reuse. However, the additional sub-structure provided by traits is always optional: a class written using traits can also be viewed as a flat collection of methods, with no change in its semantics. This paper describes the tool that supports these two alternate views of a class, called the traits browser, and the programming methodology that we are starting to develop around the use of traits.
Date of Conference: 23-28 May 2004