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Richard Gabriel: Repetition, Generativity, and

Richard Gabriel: Repetition, Generativity, and Patterns

Well now :) It's been a while since I looked around Dreamsongs. I think Gabriel's way off the mark here. For the record, his "patterns" book is a firm favourite of mine and I do believe Lisp is the finest of programming languages. But this is just incoherent potshotting at OO. I didn't know what had failed, how it had failed, why it failed, what failure was, or even what he means by OO.

More than anything, what strikes me about this essay is that Gabriel doesn't have a firm view of what OO is. It seems to be whatever he doesn't like about computing.

Here's what OO is - programming by calling procedures through jumptables. The purpose of OO is twofold; dependency management and functional abstraction.

Now if Gabriel had said programming langauges had failed us, or computing has failed us, I'd agree with him (actually he has said this in the past). On the other hand, OO (insert definition here) is the primary computing paradigm for millions of programmer. There's nothing like rattling a few cages to get your point across. So I guess this is one tactic to get our attention (it's working on me at least). I just expect more from Gabriel.

My CTO happens to agree with him (Sean's comments).


November 26, 2002 10:18 AM