"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Saturday, February 14, 2004

It's About Time

I've read some criticism of Victoria Livschitz's interview mostly correcting the usual misunderstandings of the average software developer or manager. But consider this...

Consider a few common concepts that people universally use to understand and describe all systems -- concepts that do not fit the object mold. The "before/after" paradigm, as well that of "cause/effect," and the notion of the "state of the system" are amongst the most vivid examples... The sequence of the routine itself -- what comes before what under what conditions based on what causality -- simply has no meaningful representation in OO, because OO has no concept of sequencing, or state, or cause.

She makes a good point here, and this applies not just to OOP. We build the concepts of time, sequence, and causation into applications from scratch when they are required by the customer. We have essentially no support for these at the language level.

How does a developer typically denote that some event has occurred? Like this...
has_occurred = True

How does a developer typically recall that some event has occurred? Of course sprinkly these liberally...
if has_occurred: ...

We have the State pattern to manage behavioral differences based on the current state, but we have almost no common patterns for behavioral differences based on the history of state.

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About Me

Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.