Discovering anomalies in access modifiers in Java with a formal specification

Wuu Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The Java programming language provides three access modifiers to control the visibility of the members of a class. Though identifying the weaknesses of the access modifiers from the informal semantics stated in the language manual is difficult, this does not mean that the access modifiers provide a sound ground for building secure programs. A rigorous study of the access modifiers with attribute grammars has uncovered several situations that are irregular or counterintuitive. These situations are confusing to programmers and may create weaknesses in Java programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-18
Number of pages7
JournalJOOP - Journal of Object-Oriented Programming
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2001

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