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ECOOP Reaction to CLOS

My impression from talking to people at ECOOP was that most people
were fairly positive about Dick's talk.

He did get some flak about the inheritance algorithm, but I think this
was due to the presentation. If you tell someone that something is
too complicated to understand, the likely response is that you should
make the design simpler so they can understand it. In my opinion, it
is simply unacceptable to go around saying this. The algorithm isn't
any more complicated than the one used for LR parser generation
(to which Aho, Sethi, and Ullman devote 37 pages in the new Dragon
book) or normalization of a relational database schema (to which
Date devotes 23 pages). 

The fact that the algorithm is the right one is bostered by a paper
by Ducournau and Habib at ECOOP, which examined a class of graph
linerization algorithms having desirable qualitative properties,
of which the CLOS algorithm is a member.

Therefore, I hope someone can stand up at OOPSLA and do a better
job of explaining it. It may take some time, and will probably
require some more examples, particularly of how things can go
wrong, but I think it will, in the end, gain more support for
CLOS and increase programmer understanding. People should feel
good about using it, not just because its the standard, but also
because it does what they want and they understand that.

I hope someone will post the results of the Boston meeting, particularly
any decisions on initialization.

		Jim Kempf	kempf@hplabs.hp.com