OOP Is Much Better in Theory Than in Practice

An critique of OOP. The article is about OOP as a SE/design approach and doesn't directly attack the issue from a PL angle, but it might still interest LtU readers.

From a PL point of view, I would have chnaged the title to: OOP Is Much Better in Theory Than in Practice, (And the Theory Isn't too Good anyway).

Polyglot and Nested Inheritance

Polyglot is a compiler front end framework for building Java language extensions that doesn't seem to have been mentioned here.

Amongst the extensions is an implementation of nested inheritance which, I admit, I don't completely get. There's a discussion (moderately critical) of the paper in the context of OCaml that starts here.

This caught my eye while scanning the latest Caml Weekly News - a useful summary of the (rather high volume) (O)Caml list.

Grady Booch: Microsoft and Domain Specific Languages

Grady Booch's contribution to the discussion on UML vs. DSLs.

Along the way we learn about UML specialization mechanisms, UML profiles, and Grady's opinions as regards tool vs. language issues.

Practical Common Lisp

Practical Common Lisp by Peter Seibel was mentioned here in the past, but not on the home page if I am not mistaken.

You can download all but three chapters from the website, and seeing as Lisp is an important and somewhat unique language, you might want to do just that.

The chapters I read were well written and funny at times. What's not to like?

The OO chapters offer a nice intro to CLOS, which might interest those with OO experience seeing as CLOS doesn't resemble your average OOPL.

I must say that it's nice to see "practical" how-to books written for non-mainstream languages.

OO Programming Styles in ML

OO Programming Styles in ML, Bernard Berthomieu.

It is shown that the essential OO concepts and idioms, including inheritance and dynamic dispatch, can be encoded in this well understood framework, without requiring any operational or typing extensions of ML...

[The encodings] do not rely on subtyping and subsumption, but on an encoding of inheritance polymorphism into paramteric polymorphism.

This isn't new (it is dated March 2000), but seems interesting.

The ML module language put to good use!

Thanks Henry!

Jon Udell: interview with Ward Cunningham and Jack Greenfield

Jon Udell's interview with Ward Cunningham and Jack Greenfield might help understand Microsoft's methodology of software factories and DSLs.

The interview is available as a 54 minute MP3 file. The notion of language as abstraction mechanism and explanation of the part played by DSLs appear towards the second half of the conversation.

Generic Functions have Landed (Python)

A semi-stable generic function API for Python.

Somewhere between CLOS style OOP and AOP, I'd say.

I don't have the time to explore this, but other might wnat to give it a go and report their experience.

Predicate Dispatch in the news

Lemonodor writes about predicte dispatch in CLOS, Patrick writes about Smalltalk (and see the comments regarding Python).

A few more posts are floating around, so follow the links from these two blog posts.

Microsoft and DSLs @ OOPSLA

Microsoft gave a demo of their Software Factories & DSL tools and philosophy over at OOPSLA. It would be great to see the slides but as far as I can see they aren't available online.

I want to love the DSL approach, but I still haven't seen enough examples and detailed discussion to be convinced.

I'd be happy to hear what others think about the UML vs. DSL controversy.

ACM Queue: Schizoid Classes

Schizoid Classes, Rodney Bates

Smalltalk-80 was an important and enlightening experiment in just how far object-orientation can be taken in a programming language. It is simple, compact, and shows a rare and refreshing integrity of concept. To accomplish its goals, it introduces the idea that the variables of a class can be either class variables or instance variables, and the methods can be either class methods or instance methods. This turns the class into a mixture of two fundamentally different concepts—type and module—with very different semantics. Smalltalk manages to do this relatively cleanly.

Unfortunately, two more recent languages, C++ and Java, have taken this same distinction and turned it into a gratuitous mess.

The author is of the opinion that [t]he best-designed languages give you two abstraction tools—a module and an object type—each of which serves its own purpose reasonably well - I wonder if he is thinking about Smalltalk or about Ada...

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