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What are we up to?
As many have said, we can do either specify what hooks Common Lisp
should have to implement object systems, try to find a consensus on a
object sub-language, or both. My feeling is that it would be great if
we could come to some consensus and define a better language. I am
pretty pesimistic however. As we have seen recently people have rather
different ideas about pretty basic things. I don't see a consensus on
(1) instance variables
-- special syntax vs. ordinary symbols
-- semantics, when are defaults (if ever) copied down, active values,
access of IVs of other than self,...
(2) method combination
Flavors is a both a language for describing methods and a language
for describing method combination. I think most people that dislike
Flavors dislike the method combination language. Handerson has proposed
generalizing method combination but will that make things better.
SmallTalk has a notion of sending a message on along to the super of the
class in which the calling method is defined. Loops generalizes this
for multiple supers. This clearly is very general and is easier to use
and can be as efficient. What do people think?
(3) Name spaces
-- should selectors share a name space with Lisp functions?
-- should selectors be in the keyword package?
and so on.
I think we can try a little longer and see if there is some consensus on
some of these issues. If there is then maybe we really can design some
language that improves upon Flavors, Loops, and SmallTalk. If there
isn't then we should go back to the question of what hooks do we want.
Btw. Objects in T is new to me. Does someone have pointers to