This report presents the results of the first year of my Ph.D. investigating the use of assertion-based Object-Oriented techniques to produce reliable software and enable software components to be reused safely. I start by discussing these motivations and presenting five goals that an ideal solution will meet. I then assess whether a widerange of state of the art projects meet these goals. My conclusion is that none of the existing projects satisfy all of the goals. The body of the report consists of the presentation of a language that I have developed called Omnibus and a discussion of the current efforts towards supporting the verification of programs written in the language. I also briefly mention steps being taken to allow Omnibus to be used in realistic commercial software projects. The report concludes by proposing a new approach to the use of assertion-based techniques in software development, evaluating the Omnibus language, discussing both the achievements of the project so far and future aims for it and, finally, giving some personal reflections on the year. Acknowledgement
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