Assertions in design by contract

From Rosetta Code
Assertions in design by contract is a draft programming task. It is not yet considered ready to be promoted as a complete task, for reasons that should be found in its talk page.

According to   Wikipedia;   assertions can function as a form of documentation:   they can describe the state the code expects to find before it runs (its preconditions), and the state the code expects to result in when it is finished running (postconditions);   they can also specify invariants of a class.


Task

Show in the program language of your choice an example of the use of assertions as a form of documentation.

ALGOL W[edit]

Translation of: D

Algol W has assertions. Although pre and post conditions are not built in to the language, assertions can be used to simulate them.

begin
long real procedure averageOfAbsolutes( integer array values( * )
 ; integer value valuesLength
) ;
begin
long real av;
 % Pre-condition. %
assert( valuesLength > 0 );
for i := 1 until valuesLength do av := av + abs( values( i ) );
av := av / valuesLength;
 % Post-condition. %
assert( av >= 0 );
av
end averageOfAbsolutes ;
begin
integer array v( 1 :: 2 );
v( 1 ) := 1; v( 2 ) := 3;
r_format := "A"; r_w := 6; r_d := 2; % set output formatting %
write( averageOfAbsolutes( v, 2 ) )
end
end.
Output:
  2.00

D[edit]

D has exceptions, errors and asserts. In Phobos there is also an enforce(). D has pre-conditions and post conditions, and struct/class invariants. Class method contracts should work correctly in object oriented code with inheritance.

import std.stdio, std.algorithm, std.math;
 
double averageOfAbsolutes(in int[] values) pure nothrow @safe @nogc
in {
// Pre-condition.
assert(values.length > 0);
} out(result) {
// Post-condition.
assert(result >= 0);
} body {
return values.map!abs.sum / double(values.length);
}
 
struct Foo {
int x;
void inc() { x++; }
invariant {
// Struct invariant.
assert(x >= 0);
}
}
 
void main() {
[1, 3].averageOfAbsolutes.writeln;
Foo f;
f.inc;
}
Output:
2

Eiffel[edit]

Translation of: D
  acc: INTEGER
average_of_absolutes (values: ARRAY[INTEGER]): INTEGER
require
non_empty_values: values.count > 0
do
acc := 0
values.do_all(agent abs_sum)
Result := acc // values.count
ensure
non_neg_result: Result >= 0
end

Go[edit]

The Go FAQ states:

Why does Go not have assertions?
Go doesn't provide assertions. They are undeniably convenient, but our experience has been that programmers use them as a crutch to avoid thinking about proper error handling and reporting. Proper error handling means that servers continue operation after non-fatal errors instead of crashing. Proper error reporting means that errors are direct and to the point, saving the programmer from interpreting a large crash trace. Precise errors are particularly important when the programmer seeing the errors is not familiar with the code.
We understand that this is a point of contention. There are many things in the Go language and libraries that differ from modern practices, simply because we feel it's sometimes worth trying a different approach.

The "contract" in "design by contract" should be embodied in the API and error return values (if any) not in assertions that are typically only compiled when debugging.

If someone disagrees and they really want to use an "assert" they can simply roll their own:

func assert(t bool, s string) {
if !t {
panic(s)
}
}
//…
assert(c == 0, "some text here")
 

(And if the assert function was defined in a file with build constraints and a stub in a file with the opposite constraint then they could be effectively be enabled/disabled at compile time. That's probably a bad idea.)

J[edit]

J can load scripts expecting any non-assigned noun result to be all 1's. If the file tautology_script.ijs contains

 
NB. demonstrate properties of arithmetic
'A B C' =: 3 ?@$ 0 NB. A B and C are random floating point numbers in range [0, 1).
((A + B) + C) -: (A + (B + C)) NB. addition associates
(A + B) -: (B + A) NB. addition commutes
(A * B) -: (B * A) NB. scalar multiplication commutes
(A * (B + C)) -: ((A * B) + (A * C)) NB. distributive property
 

we could load it into a session as 0!:3<'tautology_script.ijs' with result of 1, because the expressions match (-:). Were a sentence to fail the result would be 0, as for example replacing multiplication with matrix product and A B and C with square matrices of same size.

In next example the assertion both tests substitute when the script loads and shows how to use substitute. Infinity (_) replaces the zeros in the y argument, and the x argument is the vector zero infinity.

 
substitute =: 4 : '[&.((y~:{.x)&(#!.({:x)))y'
assert _ 1 1 _ 2 -: 0 _ substitute 0 1 1 0 2
 


Pre-condition adverbs with example:

 
Positive =: adverb define
'non-positive' assert *./ , y > 0
u y
)
Integral =: adverb define
'non-integral' assert (-: <.) y
u y
)
display =: smoutput :[:
display_positive_integers =: display Integral Positive
 
display 1 3 8
1 3 8
display_positive_integers 1 3 8
1 3 8
display 1x1 _1p1
2.71828 _3.14159
display_positive_integers 1x1 _1p1
|non-positive: assert
| 'non-positive' assert*./,y>0
 

As a post-condition, and this is contrived because a better definition of exact_factorial would be !@:x: ,

 
IntegralResult =: adverb define
RESULT =. u y
'use extended precision!' assert (<datatype RESULT) e. ;:'extended integer'
RESULT
:
RESULT =. x u y
'use extended precision!' assert (<datatype RESULT) e. ;:'extended integer'
RESULT
)
 
exact_factorial =: !IntegralResult
 
 !50
3.04141e64
 !50x
30414093201713378043612608166064768844377641568960512000000000000
exact_factorial 50x
30414093201713378043612608166064768844377641568960512000000000000
exact_factorial 50
|use extended precision!: assert
| 'use extended precision!' assert(<datatype RESULT)e.;:'extended integer'
 

One could assert an invariant in quicksort such that following the split the maximum of the small group is less than the minimum of the large group:

assert (>./LEFT) < (<./RIGHT)

Java[edit]

The -ea or -enableassertions option must be passed to the VM when running the application for this to work.
Example taken from Perceptron task.

 
(...)
int feedForward(double[] inputs) {
assert inputs.length == weights.length : "weights and input length mismatch";
 
double sum = 0;
for (int i = 0; i < weights.length; i++) {
sum += inputs[i] * weights[i];
}
return activate(sum);
}
(...)
 

Racket[edit]

The function and it's contract are a "translation" of "D".

The Racket Guide introduces contracts here [1]

The Racket Reference defines contracts here [2]

Note that the examples catch contract blame exceptions -- which, if uncaught are enough to halt a program; making them quite assertive.

This example is extremely surface-scratching.

 
#lang racket
(require racket/contract)
 
;; This is the contract we will use.
;; "->" It is a function
;; (cons/c real? That takes a list of at least one real (cons/c x (listof x)) means that an x
;; (listof real?)) must occur before the rest of the list
;; (or/c zero? positive?) returns a non-negative number (for which there is no simpler contract that I
;; know of
(define average-of-absolutes/c
(-> (cons/c real? (listof real?)) (or/c zero? positive?)))
 
;; this does what it's meant to
(define/contract (average-of-absolutes num-list)
average-of-absolutes/c
(/ (apply + (map abs num-list)) (length num-list)))
 
;; this will return a non-positive real (which will break the contract)
(define/contract (average-of-absolutes:bad num-list)
average-of-absolutes/c
(- (/ (apply + (map abs num-list)) (length num-list))))
 
(define (show-blame-error blame value message)
(string-append "Contract Violation!\n"
(format "Guilty Party: ~a\n" (blame-positive blame))
(format "Innocent Party: ~a\n" (blame-negative blame))
(format "Contracted Value Name: ~a\n" (blame-value blame))
(format "Contract Location: ~s\n" (blame-source blame))
(format "Contract Name: ~a\n" (blame-contract blame))
(format "Offending Value: ~s\n" value)
(format "Offense: ~a\n" message)))
(current-blame-format show-blame-error)
 
(module+ test
 ;; a wrapper to demonstrate blame
(define-syntax-rule (show-contract-failure body ...)
(with-handlers [(exn:fail:contract:blame?
(lambda (e) (printf "~a~%" (exn-message e))))]
(begin body ...)))
 
(show-contract-failure (average-of-absolutes '(1 2 3)))
(show-contract-failure (average-of-absolutes '(-1 -2 3)))
 
 ;; blame here is assigned to this test script: WE're providing the wrong arguments
(show-contract-failure (average-of-absolutes 42))
(show-contract-failure (average-of-absolutes '()))
 
 ;; blame here is assigned to the function implementation: which is returning a -ve value
(show-contract-failure (average-of-absolutes:bad '(1 2 3)))
(show-contract-failure (average-of-absolutes:bad '(-1 -2 3)))
 
 ;; blame here is assigned to this test script: since WE're providing the wrong arguments, so
 ;; the bad function doesn't have a chance to generate an invalid reply
(show-contract-failure (average-of-absolutes:bad 42))
(show-contract-failure (average-of-absolutes:bad '())))
Output:
2
2
Contract Violation!
Guilty Party: ...\Assertions_in_design_by_contract.rkt
Innocent Party: (function average-of-absolutes)
Contracted Value Name: average-of-absolutes
Contract Location: #(struct:srcloc "...\\Assertions_in_design_by_contract.rkt" 28 18 1037 20)
Contract Name: (-> (cons/c real? (listof real?)) (or/c zero? positive?))
Offending Value: 42
Offense: expected: pair?
  given: 42

Contract Violation!
Guilty Party: ...\Assertions_in_design_by_contract.rkt
Innocent Party: (function average-of-absolutes)
Contracted Value Name: average-of-absolutes
Contract Location: #(struct:srcloc "...\\Assertions_in_design_by_contract.rkt" 28 18 1037 20)
Contract Name: (-> (cons/c real? (listof real?)) (or/c zero? positive?))
Offending Value: ()
Offense: expected: pair?
  given: ()

Contract Violation!
Guilty Party: (function average-of-absolutes:bad)
Innocent Party: ...\Assertions_in_design_by_contract.rkt
Contracted Value Name: average-of-absolutes:bad
Contract Location: ...\\Assertions_in_design_by_contract.rkt" 33 18 1238 24)
Contract Name: (-> (cons/c real? (listof real?)) (or/c zero? positive?))
Offending Value: -2
Offense: promised: (or/c zero? positive?)
  produced: -2

Contract Violation!
Guilty Party: (function average-of-absolutes:bad)
Innocent Party: ...\Assertions_in_design_by_contract.rkt
Contracted Value Name: average-of-absolutes:bad
Contract Location: #(struct:srcloc "...\\Assertions_in_design_by_contract.rkt" 33 18 1238 24)
Contract Name: (-> (cons/c real? (listof real?)) (or/c zero? positive?))
Offending Value: -2
Offense: promised: (or/c zero? positive?)
  produced: -2

Contract Violation!
Guilty Party: ...\Assertions_in_design_by_contract.rkt
Innocent Party: (function average-of-absolutes:bad)
Contracted Value Name: average-of-absolutes:bad
Contract Location: #(struct:srcloc "...\\Assertions_in_design_by_contract.rkt" 33 18 1238 24)
Contract Name: (-> (cons/c real? (listof real?)) (or/c zero? positive?))
Offending Value: 42
Offense: expected: pair?
  given: 42

Contract Violation!
Guilty Party: ...\Assertions_in_design_by_contract.rkt
Innocent Party: (function average-of-absolutes:bad)
Contracted Value Name: average-of-absolutes:bad
Contract Location: #(struct:srcloc "...\\Assertions_in_design_by_contract.rkt" 33 18 1238 24)
Contract Name: (-> (cons/c real? (listof real?)) (or/c zero? positive?))
Offending Value: ()
Offense: expected: pair?
  given: ()

REXX[edit]

This is just a simple method of assertion;   more informative messages could be added in the   assertion   routine.
A   return   statement could've been used instead of an   exit   statement to continue processing.

/*REXX program demonstrates a  method  on how to use  assertions in design  by contract.*/
parse arg top . /*obtain optional argument from the CL.*/
if top=='' | top=="," then top=100 /*Not specified? Then use the default.*/
pad=left('', 9) /*PAD contains nine blanks for SAYs. */
 
do #=1 for 666 /*repeat for a devilish number of times*/
a=random(1, top) /*generate a random number (1 ──► TOP)*/
b=random(1, a) /* " " " " (1 ──► A)*/
c=a-b /*compute difference between A and B. */
say pad 'a=' right(a,4) pad "b=" right(b,4) pad 'c=' right(c,4)
call assert date('Weekday')\=="Monday" /*shouldn't execute this pgm on Monday.*/
call assert time('H')<9 | time("H")>15 /* ··· and not during banking hours.*/
call assert c>0 /*The value of C must be positive. */
sum=my_sub(a, b, c) /*invoke a subroutine to do "stuff". */
say copies(' ',60) 'sum=' sum /*display the sum of A, B, and C. */
end /*#*/
exit /*stick a fork in it, we're all done. */
/*──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────*/
assert: if arg(1) then return 1; say /*if true, then assertion has passed. */
say 'assertion failed on line ' sigL " with: " subword(space(sourceline(sigl)),3)
say; say '# index= ' #
say 'ASSERT is exiting.'; exit 13
/*──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────*/
my_sub: return arg(1) +arg(2) +arg(3) /*Sum three arguments. Real easy work.*//

output   when using the default input:

          a=    6           b=    5           c=    1
                                                             sum= 12
          a=   88           b=   17           c=   71
                                                             sum= 176
          a=   34           b=   12           c=   22
                                                             sum= 68
          a=  100           b=   97           c=    3
                                                             sum= 200
          a=   88           b=   52           c=   36
                                                             sum= 176
          a=   17           b=    9           c=    8
                                                             sum= 34
          a=   29           b=   11           c=   18
                                                             sum= 58
          a=   23           b=    1           c=   22
                                                             sum= 46
          a=  100           b=   35           c=   65
                                                             sum= 200
          a=   10           b=    8           c=    2
                                                             sum= 20
          a=    1           b=    1           c=    0

assertion failed on line  13  with:  c>0 /*The value of C must be positive. */

# index=  11
ASSERT is exiting.

Ruby[edit]

 
require 'contracts'
include Contracts
 
Contract Num => Num
def double(x)
x * 2
end
 
puts double("oops")
 
Output:
./contracts.rb:34:in `failure_callback': Contract violation: (RuntimeError)
    Expected: Contracts::Num,
    Actual: "oops"
    Value guarded in: Object::double
    With Contract: Contracts::Num, Contracts::Num
    At: main.rb:6 

Scala[edit]

Scala provides runtime assertions like Java: they are designed to be used by static analysis tools however the default compiler doesn’t perform such analyses by default. The Scala assertions (assume, require, assert, ensuring) are Predef library methods that are enabled by default and can be disabled using the -Xdisable-assertions runtime flag, unlike Java where assertions are disabled by default and enabled with a runtime flag. It is considered poor form to rely on assertions to validate arguments, because they can be disabled. An appropriate informative runtime exception (e.g. NullPointerException or IllegalArgumentException) should be thrown instead.

object AssertionsInDesignByContract extends App {
/**
* @param ints a non-empty array of integers
* @return the mean magnitude of the array's elements.
*/

def averageOfMagnitudes(ints: Array[Int]) = {
// assertions for static analysis / runtime protoyping:
assume(ints != null, "array must not be null")
require(ints.length > 0, "array must be non-empty")
// runtime exceptions when assertions are disabled:
if (ints.length < 1) throw new IllegalArgumentException("Cannot find the average of an empty array")
// note, the above line can implicitly throw a NullPointerException too
val abs = ints.map(Math.abs)
val mean = Math.round(abs.sum.toDouble / ints.length)
assert(Math.abs(mean) >= abs.min && Math.abs(mean) <= abs.max, "magnitude must be within range")
mean
} ensuring(_ >= 0, "result must be non-negative (possible overflow)")
 
println(averageOfMagnitudes(Array(1))) // 1
println(averageOfMagnitudes(Array(1,3))) // 2
println(averageOfMagnitudes(null)) // java.lang.AssertionError: assumption failed: array must not be null
println(averageOfMagnitudes(Array())) // java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: requirement failed: array must be non-empty
println(averageOfMagnitudes(Array(Integer.MAX_VALUE, Integer.MAX_VALUE))) // java.lang.AssertionError: assertion failed: magnitude must be within range
println(averageOfMagnitudes(Array(Integer.MAX_VALUE, 1))) // java.lang.AssertionError: assertion failed: result must be non-negative (possible overflow)
}

Tcl[edit]

# Custom assertions; names stolen from Eiffel keywords
proc require {expression message args} {
if {![uplevel 1 [list expr $expression]]} {
set msg [uplevel 1 [list format $message] $args]
return -level 2 -code error "PRECONDITION FAILED: $msg"
}
}
proc ensure {expression {message ""} args} {
if {![uplevel 1 [list expr $expression]]} {
set msg [uplevel 1 [list format $message] $args]
return -level 2 -code error "POSTCONDITION FAILED: $msg"
}
}
 
proc connect_to_server {server port} {
require {$server ne ""} "server address must not be empty"
require {[string is integer -strict $port]} "port must be numeric"
require {$port > 0 && $port < 65536} "port must be valid for client"
 
set sock [socket $server $port]
 
# Will never fail: Tcl *actually* throws an error on connection
# failure instead, but the principle still holds.
ensure {$sock ne ""} "a socket should have been created"
 
return $sock
}

This can be usefully mixed with Tcl 8.6's try … finally … built-in command.

Example output from above code:
% connect_to_server "" ""
PRECONDITION FAILED: server address must not be empty
% connect_to_server localhost 123456
PRECONDITION FAILED: port must be valid for client

zkl[edit]

zkl has exceptions. The _assert_ keyword just wraps the AssertionError exception. _assert_ takes an expression and optional message. There are no pre/post conditionals.

fcn f(a){
_assert_((z:=g())==5,"I wanted 5, got "+z)
}

Running the code throws an exception with file and line number:

Output:
VM#1 caught this unhandled exception:
   AssertionError : assert(foo.zkl:14): I wanted 5, got hoho