Advanced OOP: Multimethods
Subject:   Smalltalk?!?
Date:   2003-06-05 07:26:25
From:   larsga
It seems strange to describe the style of method invocation used in mainstream OO languages today as descended from SmallTalk, which has very different syntax as well as a different notion of what a method is (message vs method).

The real origin of this style of method invocation was Simula 67, which used the syntax

object.method(arg1, arg2);

Looks familiar, doesn't it?

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  • Smalltalk?!?
    2003-06-05 09:02:16  anonymous2 [View]

    I was not trying to slight Simula-67 here, which indeed comes earlier. But more readers, I think, know at least a little bit about Smalltalk than about Simula--for one thing, there are actively maintained versions of Smalltalk still out there.

    Obviously, Smalltalk *syntax* is a lot different from that of C++, Perl, Python. Ruby blocks look a bit Smalltalk-ish. But the contrast I had in mind was in the semantics, where CLOS' generic functions differ from Simula/Smalltalk descendent's message passing. By pointing to a language with a notably different syntax, the point about identifying a common underlying semantics is further emphasized.

    - David