Subclassing Class.

Discussion in 'Ruby' started by John Carter, Dec 6, 2005.

  1. John Carter

    John Carter Guest

    Ok. This is a wild idea.

    I don't like the factory pattern.

    We don't need no stinkin Factories. We have the Class object.

    All a Factory is really Class.

    However, a traditional Factory object can have...
    * State.
    * Richer behaviour than the Class class.

    Ok, this gets a little hairy so lets get concrete.

    class Foo
    end

    fo = Foo.new

    What is the class of fo? Foo

    What is the class of Foo? Class

    Now a FooFactory object is just an object with a bit more intelligence
    and state that the traditional Foo class object for making Foo
    instances in a better smarter way.


    So the obvious thing to do is instead of making a new class FooFactory
    < Object, it should inherit from Class.

    Well, since Foo is already a Class, we really just want a smarter Class.

    ie..

    Instead of

    class FooFactory
    def initialize( foo_state)
    @foo_state = foo_state
    end

    def foo_fu( bah)
    # Knowledge of Foo making
    end

    def create( needs_fu, stuff)
    Foo.new( foo_fu( needs_fu), @foo_state, stuff)
    end
    end

    factory = FooFactory.new( 'foo juice')
    foo = factory.create( 'footile')

    We really want

    class Foo < Class
    def initialize( foo_state)
    @foo_state = foo_state
    end

    def foo_fu( bah)
    # Knowledge of Foo making
    end

    def new( needs_fu, stuff)
    super( foo_fu( needs_fu), @foo_state, stuff)
    end
    end

    foo = Foo.new( 'fooless', 'stuffed')


    Except ruby doesn't like that
    class Foo < Class
    bit.

    It gets quite grumpy in fact.

    Ruby says "can't make subclass of Class (TypeError)"

    Rats.

    We can however say...

    FooClass = Class.new(Class)

    Unfortunately we can't then say....

    FooClass.new( Object)

    Ruby says...
    :in `new': wrong instance allocation (TypeError)

    Ahh! I'm just going around in circles fighting Ruby.

    We need a way of saying...

    class FooClass < Class
    # Add state and behaviour to Class
    end

    And then instead of saying...
    class Foo < FooParent
    # Add state and behaviour to FooParent
    end
    we need to be able to say...

    FooClass Foo < FooParent
    # Add state and behaviour to FooParent
    end

    Aargh! I'm chasing my tail.

    Is there anyway, (short of the traditional Factory Pattern) for me to
    catch my tail?


    John Carter Phone : (64)(3) 358 6639
    Tait Electronics Fax : (64)(3) 359 4632
    PO Box 1645 Christchurch Email :
    New Zealand

    Carter's Clarification of Murphy's Law.

    "Things only ever go right so that they may go more spectacularly wrong later."

    From this principle, all of life and physics may be deduced.
    John Carter, Dec 6, 2005
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. John Carter

    Aredridel Guest

    > We really want
    >
    > class Foo < Class
    > def initialize( foo_state)
    > @foo_state = foo_state
    > end
    >
    > def foo_fu( bah)
    > # Knowledge of Foo making
    > end
    >
    > def new( needs_fu, stuff)
    > super( foo_fu( needs_fu), @foo_state, stuff)
    > end
    > end
    >
    > foo = Foo.new( 'fooless', 'stuffed')
    >
    >
    > Except ruby doesn't like that
    > class Foo < Class
    > bit.
    >
    > It gets quite grumpy in fact.
    >
    > Ruby says "can't make subclass of Class (TypeError)"


    Yes, there is a way: Singleton classes or "eigenclasses":

    class Foo
    def self.new(needs_fu, stuff) # Could be Foo.new, too, but self keeps
    us warm and DRY.
    super(foo_fu(needs_fu), @foo_state, stuff)
    end
    end

    Each Class (and indeed, every other object) has its own private class,
    for just that object alone, the eigenclass. It can have methods added to
    with the def instance.method syntax -- self.new, in this case, or
    Foo.new would work just as well -- and so, Foo.new is different than
    another class's new method. Since it's a "virtual" child class of Class,
    it works as you'd expect with regards to super.

    Aria
    Aredridel, Dec 6, 2005
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. On Dec 5, 2005, at 7:57 PM, John Carter wrote:

    > Ok. This is a wild idea.
    >
    > I don't like the factory pattern.
    >
    > We don't need no stinkin Factories. We have the Class object.
    >
    > All a Factory is really Class.
    >
    > However, a traditional Factory object can have...
    > * State.
    > * Richer behaviour than the Class class.
    >
    > Ok, this gets a little hairy so lets get concrete.
    >
    > class Foo
    > end
    >
    > fo = Foo.new
    >
    > What is the class of fo? Foo
    >
    > What is the class of Foo? Class
    >
    > Now a FooFactory object is just an object with a bit more intelligence
    > and state that the traditional Foo class object for making Foo
    > instances in a better smarter way.
    >
    >
    > So the obvious thing to do is instead of making a new class FooFactory
    > < Object, it should inherit from Class.
    >
    > Well, since Foo is already a Class, we really just want a smarter
    > Class.
    >
    > ie..
    >
    > Instead of
    >
    > class FooFactory
    > def initialize( foo_state)
    > @foo_state = foo_state
    > end
    >
    > def foo_fu( bah)
    > # Knowledge of Foo making
    > end
    >
    > def create( needs_fu, stuff)
    > Foo.new( foo_fu( needs_fu), @foo_state, stuff)
    > end
    > end
    >
    > factory = FooFactory.new( 'foo juice')
    > foo = factory.create( 'footile')
    >
    > We really want
    >
    > class Foo < Class
    > def initialize( foo_state)
    > @foo_state = foo_state
    > end
    >
    > def foo_fu( bah)
    > # Knowledge of Foo making
    > end
    >
    > def new( needs_fu, stuff)
    > super( foo_fu( needs_fu), @foo_state, stuff)
    > end
    > end
    >
    > foo = Foo.new( 'fooless', 'stuffed')
    >
    >
    > Except ruby doesn't like that
    > class Foo < Class
    > bit.
    >
    > It gets quite grumpy in fact.
    >
    > Ruby says "can't make subclass of Class (TypeError)"
    >
    > Rats.
    >
    > We can however say...
    >
    > FooClass = Class.new(Class)
    >
    > Unfortunately we can't then say....
    >
    > FooClass.new( Object)
    >
    > Ruby says...
    > :in `new': wrong instance allocation (TypeError)
    >
    > Ahh! I'm just going around in circles fighting Ruby.
    >
    > We need a way of saying...
    >
    > class FooClass < Class
    > # Add state and behaviour to Class
    > end
    >
    > And then instead of saying...
    > class Foo < FooParent
    > # Add state and behaviour to FooParent
    > end
    > we need to be able to say...
    >
    > FooClass Foo < FooParent
    > # Add state and behaviour to FooParent
    > end
    >
    > Aargh! I'm chasing my tail.
    >
    > Is there anyway, (short of the traditional Factory Pattern) for me
    > to catch my tail?
    >
    >
    > John Carter Phone : (64)(3) 358 6639
    > Tait Electronics Fax : (64)(3) 359 4632
    > PO Box 1645 Christchurch Email :
    > New Zealand
    >
    > Carter's Clarification of Murphy's Law.
    >
    > "Things only ever go right so that they may go more spectacularly
    > wrong later."
    >
    > From this principle, all of life and physics may be deduced.
    >


    Why are you trying so hard?

    class Foo
    # state and behavior for Foo the Class
    # using class instance variables and singleton methods
    # eg:
    @foo_state = foo_state # this works believe it or not
    # etc.
    @old_new = method:)new)
    def self.new(needs_fi, stuff)
    @old_new.call(foo_fu(needs_fu, @foo_state, stuff)
    end
    end

    What does subclassing class get you over this approach? Your class
    can be your factory (in ruby anyway).
    Logan Capaldo, Dec 6, 2005
    #3
  4. Hi --

    On Tue, 6 Dec 2005, Aredridel wrote:

    > Each Class (and indeed, every other object) has its own private class,
    > for just that object alone, the eigenclass. It can have methods added to

    ^^^^^^^^^^

    Is there any chance of stemming the tide of nicknames and coined synonyms
    for singleton classes? Or may I at least put in a plea for flagging them
    as nicknames and coinages? I know there's a kind of ongoing discussion
    about what the best eventual official name might be, if "singleton class"
    is ever replaced, but I think that having a lot of unofficial/unflagged
    names in circulation is potentially very confusing and therefore probably
    not an ideal interim measure.


    David
    __
    David A. Black


    "Ruby for Rails", forthcoming from Manning Publications, April 2006!
    David A. Black, Dec 6, 2005
    #4
  5. John Carter

    Trans Guest

    > Yes, there is a way: Singleton classes or "eigenclasses".

    In this context it is generally called the metaclass. But I'm really
    digging this new "adhoc". As in, "He completely rewrote the method
    _adhoc_."

    BTW, factories come into play when the class of the object instantiated
    is unknown. I don't see that. It looks like you (John) are talking more
    about alternate instantation signitures --but maybe I've overlooked
    something in what you said. Nonetheless, it is true that a class method
    (class methods are adhoc) can be used in either case.

    T.
    Trans, Dec 6, 2005
    #5
  6. John Carter ha scritto:
    > Ok. This is a wild idea.
    >
    > I don't like the factory pattern.
    >
    > We don't need no stinkin Factories. We have the Class object.


    given that people already told you about overriding Class#new, I won't
    replicate.
    But I wonder what is the problem you're tying to solve, if you just want
    to add state and behaviour to an object, maybe you could just
    include/extend a module?
    gabriele renzi, Dec 6, 2005
    #6
  7. John Carter

    John Carter Guest

    On Tue, 6 Dec 2005, gabriele renzi wrote:

    > John Carter ha scritto:
    >> Ok. This is a wild idea.
    >>
    >> I don't like the factory pattern.
    >>
    >> We don't need no stinkin Factories. We have the Class object.

    >
    > But I wonder what is the problem you're tying to solve, if you just want to
    > add state and behaviour to an object, maybe you could just include/extend a
    > module?


    Add state and polymorphic behaviour, not to the object, but the
    object's class. And that is where the wheels fall off.

    @@variables give classes state.

    ClassName.method_name functions given classes behaviour.

    But it is all static, no polymorphism.


    (Perhaps I should have called it the factory method pattern. When I tried
    to find a definitive answer on that I find I'm certainly not alone in
    stirring that particular pot of confusion...)



    John Carter Phone : (64)(3) 358 6639
    Tait Electronics Fax : (64)(3) 359 4632
    PO Box 1645 Christchurch Email :
    New Zealand

    Carter's Clarification of Murphy's Law.

    "Things only ever go right so that they may go more spectacularly wrong later."

    From this principle, all of life and physics may be deduced.
    John Carter, Dec 6, 2005
    #7
  8. John Carter

    John Carter Guest

    On Tue, 6 Dec 2005, Aredridel wrote:

    > class Foo
    > def self.new(needs_fu, stuff) # Could be Foo.new, too, but self keeps
    > us warm and DRY.
    > super(foo_fu(needs_fu), @foo_state, stuff)
    > end
    > end


    > Each Class (and indeed, every other object) has its own private class,
    > for just that object alone, the eigenclass. It can have methods added to
    > with the def instance.method syntax -- self.new, in this case, or
    > Foo.new would work just as well -- and so, Foo.new is different than
    > another class's new method. Since it's a "virtual" child class of Class,
    > it works as you'd expect with regards to super.


    Err. Right.

    On to the next step. Let's rename Foo to AbstractFoo

    Now I wanted
    class AbstractFoo < Class
    end

    and you have given me that. But that was merely the first step in my
    agenda.

    I actually also want....
    class ConcreteFooClass < AbstractFooClass
    end

    class OtherConcreteFooClass < AbstractFooClass
    end
    that polymorphically inherits behaviour from AbstractFooClass.

    I'm starting to really hate the Builder, Factory, AbstractFactory,
    FactoryMethod names. They are not explicit enough to distinguish which is
    what from the name, and the web seems to pretty confused on the subject
    as well. Anyhoo, factory method pattern is what trying to do.

    John Carter Phone : (64)(3) 358 6639
    Tait Electronics Fax : (64)(3) 359 4632
    PO Box 1645 Christchurch Email :
    New Zealand

    Carter's Clarification of Murphy's Law.

    "Things only ever go right so that they may go more spectacularly wrong later."

    From this principle, all of life and physics may be deduced.
    John Carter, Dec 6, 2005
    #8
  9. John Carter

    John Carter Guest

    On Tue, 6 Dec 2005, David A. Black wrote:

    > On Tue, 6 Dec 2005, Aredridel wrote:
    >
    >> Each Class (and indeed, every other object) has its own private class,
    >> for just that object alone, the eigenclass. It can have methods added to

    > ^^^^^^^^^^
    >
    > Is there any chance of stemming the tide of nicknames and coined synonyms
    > for singleton classes?


    Hmm. It's perfectly standard mathematical terminology for an operator A,
    if you can find a limited subset of items e_i such that A operating on
    item e_i results in the same item e_i (upto a scalar factor), then
    the e_i are called an eigenstate of the operator A and the scalar factor
    is the eigenvalue.

    This usage of the term "eigen" is far far wider than ruby and far far
    older.

    If this usage maps in some fairly clear manner onto singleton classes then
    clearly the term singleton class should be dropped in favour of
    eigenclass.

    The question then is "Is there an operation which leaves the singleton
    classes, and only the singleton classes, unaltered (except perhaps in some
    trivial fashion)?"





    John Carter Phone : (64)(3) 358 6639
    Tait Electronics Fax : (64)(3) 359 4632
    PO Box 1645 Christchurch Email :
    New Zealand

    Carter's Clarification of Murphy's Law.

    "Things only ever go right so that they may go more spectacularly wrong later."

    From this principle, all of life and physics may be deduced.
    John Carter, Dec 6, 2005
    #9
  10. Hi --

    On Tue, 6 Dec 2005, John Carter wrote:

    > On Tue, 6 Dec 2005, David A. Black wrote:
    >
    > > On Tue, 6 Dec 2005, Aredridel wrote:
    > >
    > >> Each Class (and indeed, every other object) has its own private class,
    > >> for just that object alone, the eigenclass. It can have methods added to

    > > ^^^^^^^^^^
    > >
    > > Is there any chance of stemming the tide of nicknames and coined synonyms
    > > for singleton classes?

    >
    > Hmm. It's perfectly standard mathematical terminology for an operator A,
    > if you can find a limited subset of items e_i such that A operating on
    > item e_i results in the same item e_i (upto a scalar factor), then
    > the e_i are called an eigenstate of the operator A and the scalar factor
    > is the eigenvalue.
    >
    > This usage of the term "eigen" is far far wider than ruby and far far
    > older.


    So are thousands of other usages of "eigen" :) But I'm not arguing for
    or against 'eigenclass'. I'm just suggesting that we not enter an era --
    or, rather that we leave the era we appear to have entered -- of using a
    variety of unofficial names for singleton classes as if they were the
    official name.

    > > If this usage maps in some fairly clear manner onto singleton classes then

    > clearly the term singleton class should be dropped in favour of
    > eigenclass.
    >
    > The question then is "Is there an operation which leaves the singleton
    > classes, and only the singleton classes, unaltered (except perhaps in some
    > trivial fashion)?"


    "Eigen" is actually a much more common and adaptable term than that.
    It's basically German for "own", and appears all over the place in
    compounds and as a prefix (Eigentum is property (stuff you own),
    Eigenschaft is a property (in the sense of a characteristic), etc.).

    No particular antecedent coinage has a claim on Ruby's loyalty. If it's a
    good replacement for "singleton class", it's because of what "eigen" +
    "class" suggests in its own right.


    David
    __
    David A. Black


    "Ruby for Rails", forthcoming from Manning Publications, April 2006!
    David A. Black, Dec 6, 2005
    #10
  11. Hi John,

    > I'm starting to really hate the Builder, Factory, AbstractFactory,
    > FactoryMethod names. They are not explicit enough to distinguish which is
    > what from the name


    I agree with you. I once heard Eric Evans (author of the _best_
    technical book I've ever read, "Domain Driven Design") remark that he
    thought the GoF "Factory Method" should be called "Polymorphic
    Factory" and "Abstract Factory" should be "Family Factory". Eric's
    names make a lot of sense to me.

    Wayne Vucenic
    No Bugs Software
    "Ruby and C++ Agile Contract Programming in Silicon Valley"
    Wayne Vucenic, Dec 6, 2005
    #11
  12. John Carter

    Pit Capitain Guest

    John Carter schrieb:
    >
    > On to the next step. Let's rename Foo to AbstractFoo
    >
    > Now I wanted
    > class AbstractFoo < Class
    > end
    >
    > and you have given me that. But that was merely the first step in my
    > agenda.
    >
    > I actually also want....
    > class ConcreteFooClass < AbstractFooClass
    > end
    >
    > class OtherConcreteFooClass < AbstractFooClass
    > end
    > that polymorphically inherits behaviour from AbstractFooClass.


    John, I'm not sure what you really need, but I think that the singleton
    class approach that others have suggested gives you the desired behaviour:

    class Foo
    def self.new fu, stuff
    super "#{fu} and #{stuff}"
    end
    def initialize things
    puts "new Foo with #{things}"
    end
    end

    Foo.new "abstract fu", "abstract stuff"
    # => new Foo with abstract fu and abstract stuff

    class ConcreteFoo < Foo
    def self.new fu
    super fu, "concrete stuff"
    end
    def initialize things
    print "ConcreteFoo: "
    super
    end
    end

    ConcreteFoo.new "concrete fu"
    # => ConcreteFoo: new Foo with concrete fu and concrete stuff

    The class ConcreteFoo inherits behaviour from the class Foo and
    ConcreteFoo's singleton class inherits from Foo's singleton class.

    I don't know whether this still works in Ruby 1.9, though.

    Regards,
    Pit
    Pit Capitain, Dec 6, 2005
    #12
  13. John Carter

    Ross Bamford Guest

    On Tue, 06 Dec 2005 03:36:21 -0000, David A. Black <>
    wrote:

    > No particular antecedent coinage has a claim on Ruby's loyalty. If it's
    > a
    > good replacement for "singleton class", it's because of what "eigen" +
    > "class" suggests in its own right.
    >


    Absolutely. Which I would suggest is 'very little', if only because there
    are so many and varied (and often technical) uses already for 'eigen'.
    'Singleton class' has a kind-of-correctness about it I think which puts
    the newbie on the right track. I'm not advocating sticking with it, but it
    stripped away some mystique for me early on, and that kind of hint is
    important...

    Also strongly agree with your observations about the the current situation
    - it was most confusing when I started out, and I know that a few others
    find the changeable terminology confusing. I believe that one official bad
    name has to be better than N unofficial ones regardless of quality or
    correctness.

    --
    Ross Bamford -
    "\e[1;31mL"
    Ross Bamford, Dec 6, 2005
    #13
  14. John Carter

    Ross Bamford Guest

    On Tue, 06 Dec 2005 08:30:43 -0000, Pit Capitain <> wrote:
    >
    > The class ConcreteFoo inherits behaviour from the class Foo and
    > ConcreteFoo's singleton class inherits from Foo's singleton class.
    >
    > I don't know whether this still works in Ruby 1.9, though.
    >


    It seems to (as of a few days ago at least):

    [rosco@jukebox ruby]$ ruby oneninetest.rb
    new Foo with abstract fu and abstract stuff
    ConcreteFoo: new Foo with concrete fu and concrete stuff

    [rosco@jukebox ruby]$ ruby9 oneninetest.rb
    new Foo with abstract fu and abstract stuff
    ConcreteFoo: new Foo with concrete fu and concrete stuff

    --
    Ross Bamford -
    "\e[1;31mL"
    Ross Bamford, Dec 6, 2005
    #14
  15. John Carter

    Pit Capitain Guest

    Ross Bamford schrieb:
    > On Tue, 06 Dec 2005 08:30:43 -0000, Pit Capitain <> wrote:
    >>
    >> The class ConcreteFoo inherits behaviour from the class Foo and
    >> ConcreteFoo's singleton class inherits from Foo's singleton class.
    >>
    >> I don't know whether this still works in Ruby 1.9, though.

    >
    > It seems to (as of a few days ago at least):
    >
    > [rosco@jukebox ruby]$ ruby oneninetest.rb
    > new Foo with abstract fu and abstract stuff
    > ConcreteFoo: new Foo with concrete fu and concrete stuff
    >
    > [rosco@jukebox ruby]$ ruby9 oneninetest.rb
    > new Foo with abstract fu and abstract stuff
    > ConcreteFoo: new Foo with concrete fu and concrete stuff


    Thanks for the info, Ross. I remember vaguely that something about the
    inheritance of classes' singleton classes should change in Ruby 2, but
    I'm not sure.

    Regards,
    Pit
    Pit Capitain, Dec 6, 2005
    #15
  16. John Carter <> wrote:
    > Hmm. It's perfectly standard mathematical terminology for an operator A,
    > if you can find a limited subset of items e_i such that A operating on
    > item e_i results in the same item e_i (upto a scalar factor), then
    > the e_i are called an eigenstate of the operator A and the scalar factor
    > is the eigenvalue.
    >
    > This usage of the term "eigen" is far far wider than ruby and far far
    > older.
    >
    > If this usage maps in some fairly clear manner onto singleton classes then
    > clearly the term singleton class should be dropped in favour of
    > eigenclass.
    >
    > The question then is "Is there an operation which leaves the singleton
    > classes, and only the singleton classes, unaltered (except perhaps in some
    > trivial fashion)?"


    The mathematical usage draws on the German word for "own", as does
    "eigenclass". It's a lot less ambiguous a term than "singleton class",
    and the fact that it's a pleasing and apt term is indicated by the
    number of rubyists who implicitly vote by using it. I don't think any
    other term has caught on as well since people started expressing
    dissatisfaction with the ambiguous nature of "singleton class" and
    "metaclass".

    martin
    Martin DeMello, Dec 6, 2005
    #16
  17. Hi --

    On Tue, 6 Dec 2005, Martin DeMello wrote:

    > John Carter <> wrote:
    > > Hmm. It's perfectly standard mathematical terminology for an operator A,
    > > if you can find a limited subset of items e_i such that A operating on
    > > item e_i results in the same item e_i (upto a scalar factor), then
    > > the e_i are called an eigenstate of the operator A and the scalar factor
    > > is the eigenvalue.
    > >
    > > This usage of the term "eigen" is far far wider than ruby and far far
    > > older.
    > >
    > > If this usage maps in some fairly clear manner onto singleton classes then
    > > clearly the term singleton class should be dropped in favour of
    > > eigenclass.
    > >
    > > The question then is "Is there an operation which leaves the singleton
    > > classes, and only the singleton classes, unaltered (except perhaps in some
    > > trivial fashion)?"

    >
    > The mathematical usage draws on the German word for "own", as does
    > "eigenclass". It's a lot less ambiguous a term than "singleton class",
    > and the fact that it's a pleasing and apt term is indicated by the
    > number of rubyists who implicitly vote by using it.


    A lot of the usage I've seen is from newcomers who see the term used by
    non-newcomers and have no reason (because the situation is not explained
    to them) to believe that it's anything but the standard, official term.

    > I don't think any other term has caught on as well since people started
    > expressing dissatisfaction with the ambiguous nature of "singleton
    > class" and "metaclass".


    That may be due to restraint on the part of people who prefer other terms
    than "eigenclass" but don't think there should be a
    "vote"-by-pre-emptive-usage contest in this area. I suppose I could start
    telling people that there's a thing called the "own class" in Ruby (a term
    I've suggested) but I've chosen not to.


    David
    __
    David A. Black


    "Ruby for Rails", forthcoming from Manning Publications, April 2006!
    David A. Black, Dec 6, 2005
    #17
  18. John Carter

    Guest

    On Dec 6, 2005, at 10:11 AM, David A. Black wrote:
    > That may be due to restraint on the part of people who prefer other
    > terms
    > than "eigenclass" but don't think there should be a
    > "vote"-by-pre-emptive-usage contest in this area.


    Isn't that pretty much how all new jargon comes into being, by being
    used?
    Even in academic papers you'll see words and phrases coined without a
    vote
    and if the semantics appeal to the community they will be referenced and
    reused in another paper until they become part of the standard
    nomenclature.

    I do understand that new terms can be confusing and, unlike a
    refereed paper,
    most posters don't have footnotes to define all their terms, but new
    terms
    will continue to emerge (e.g., Ajax) spontaneously.

    The Ruby community is very fortunate to have Matz to sift through all
    the
    suggestions, RCRs, code, and discussion and provide a certain amount of
    guidance, but that doesn't preclude other sources of inspiration (I
    hope).

    The big elephant in the room seems to be Matz comments that the
    semantics
    of a meta/singleton/eigen class might be implemented via some mechanism
    other than a class, which would certainly stir the pot a bit.
    , Dec 6, 2005
    #18
  19. Hi --

    On Wed, 7 Dec 2005 wrote:

    >
    > On Dec 6, 2005, at 10:11 AM, David A. Black wrote:
    > > That may be due to restraint on the part of people who prefer other
    > > terms
    > > than "eigenclass" but don't think there should be a
    > > "vote"-by-pre-emptive-usage contest in this area.

    >
    > Isn't that pretty much how all new jargon comes into being, by being
    > used? Even in academic papers you'll see words and phrases coined
    > without a vote and if the semantics appeal to the community they will be
    > referenced and reused in another paper until they become part of the
    > standard nomenclature.


    I know -- I've done it myself. I've never hesitated to use neologisms in
    my own academic work, and if people find them helpful, they can use them.
    If not, they're just something I came up with to help explain some
    concept.

    This is different. First of all, Ruby is a work by Matz, not any of us.
    But, granting that single authorship is not really the whole story here,
    there's no vacuum for "eigen/virtual/meta/single/adhoc"-class to fill
    anyway. There's some fragility in the existing terms, but they do exist,
    and the fragility is being examined carefully by Matz with community
    input. What is the benefit of short-circuiting that process?

    And let's say your model does apply. That means -- as in common speech
    and academic discourse -- that different groups of people will use
    different jargon for the same things. We'll have the eigenclass people,
    the metaclass people, and so on. And newcomers will have to learn about
    all of them, so that they can talk to everyone.

    I think, among other things, that there's a limit to how tolerant people
    are going to be of being expected to wallow in all this meta-meta-culture.
    It's certainly not what attracted me to Ruby.

    > I do understand that new terms can be confusing and, unlike a refereed
    > paper, most posters don't have footnotes to define all their terms, but
    > new terms will continue to emerge (e.g., Ajax) spontaneously.
    >
    > The Ruby community is very fortunate to have Matz to sift through all
    > the suggestions, RCRs, code, and discussion and provide a certain amount
    > of guidance, but that doesn't preclude other sources of inspiration (I
    > hope).


    How about channeling these inspirations *through* the RCRs and
    discussions? I just can't see how throwing arbitrarily many home-made
    synonyms for language-level constructs at newcomers can be of the
    slightest benefit. In the short term I suppose it's exhilerating and
    makes people feel creative and participatory. But that's

    > The big elephant in the room seems to be Matz comments that the
    > semantics of a meta/singleton/eigen class might be implemented via some
    > mechanism other than a class, which would certainly stir the pot a bit.


    No elephant, from my perspective. That's yet another reason (aside from
    the general principle of respect for Matz's unique role) for not having
    the terminology free-for-all.


    David
    __
    David A. Black


    "Ruby for Rails", forthcoming from Manning Publications, April 2006!
    David A. Black, Dec 6, 2005
    #19
  20. On Wed, 7 Dec 2005, David A. Black wrote:

    > How about channeling these inspirations *through* the RCRs and
    > discussions? I just can't see how throwing arbitrarily many home-made
    > synonyms for language-level constructs at newcomers can be of the
    > slightest benefit. In the short term I suppose it's exhilerating and
    > makes people feel creative and participatory. But that's


    ...all he wrote? :)

    Oh, you know. Short-term, or some synonym for it :)


    David
    __
    David A. Black


    "Ruby for Rails", forthcoming from Manning Publications, April 2006!
    David A. Black, Dec 6, 2005
    #20
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. thechaosengine

    Thread safety when subclassing the Page class

    thechaosengine, Dec 10, 2004, in forum: ASP .Net
    Replies:
    2
    Views:
    390
    Scott Allen
    Dec 10, 2004
  2. Tim
    Replies:
    2
    Views:
    1,495
    Thomas Weidenfeller
    Dec 3, 2003
  3. E11
    Replies:
    1
    Views:
    4,708
    Thomas Weidenfeller
    Oct 12, 2005
  4. David Vaughan

    Subclassing file class

    David Vaughan, Aug 4, 2004, in forum: Python
    Replies:
    2
    Views:
    259
    Christos TZOTZIOY Georgiou
    Aug 5, 2004
  5. Replies:
    0
    Views:
    134
Loading...

Share This Page