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

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Tomorrow's Edges for the Black-Diamond Runs

James Robertson explains the edge that Smalltalk's more pure objects have over languages with special "constructors". I'm thinking back to a really nice analogy Ward Cunningham made, oh dear, over a *decade* ago...

Everything I Really Need to Know About Object-Oriented Design I Could Learn on a Black-Diamond Run

I have been wondering if we aren't making this all more complicated than it need be. I wondered if designing isn't a lot like skiing, that is, easier to do than to explain or prescribe. Then I realized: everything I really need to know about object-oriented design I could have learned last weekend skiing Utah's black-diamond runs...

Now, to make these turns, I have to use my edges. I can't twist and turn my body to turn the skis; I must let the ski's edge do the work. So, let me ask you, what's the object designer's edge?

(silence)

Polymorphic message sends! That's what we use to turn a design around a bump. We plan and balance our designs just so we can apply that edge when we need it, which in practice is most of the time...

And just so, tomorrow's edges will be distributed, asynchronous message sends. Not those clumsy things you see in the SOAP catalogs. But those neat edges in the Erlang catalog. We'll need edges like those!

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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.