Class method addition and replacement (was Re: AOP Compatibility)

Nathan de Vries nathan at atnan.com
Sun Apr 6 03:06:34 PDT 2008


On 06/04/2008, at 1:38 AM, Brendan Eich wrote:
>> Sure,
>> developers will be able to explicitly mark areas in their code which
>> they deem appropriate for another developer to change, but that
>> strikes me as a bit of a fantasy land.
>
> The fantasy here would be that JS has been kept down on the same- 
> origin and small-scale storybook farm where it was born. It's in  
> the big city now. ;-)
>
>> The majority of code which requires patching by external developers
>> was never written to be patched, but people do it anyway. This is
>> good, don't you agree?
>
> See above.

I'm not denying that the problems you're trying to fix aren't  
problems, it's just that I believe a wholesale locking down of the  
language will be too drastic and may result in a shift away from the  
language Javascripters have come to know and love.

To give some context, when you speak of "producers" & "consumers" of  
Javascript code I guess I would classify myself as a predominant  
consumer. You may be surprised to hear that mutability is one of the  
things that I love about the language, and that I don't particularly  
"want greater integrity properties" (despite desiring the side  
effects :) ).

I have experience as both a Javascript & Actionscript 3 programmer,  
so you could say that I've had a little bit of a taste of what's to  
come. One experience of mine you might be interested in is as a  
consumer of Adobe's Flex framework. Quite often, I feel the need to  
extend the various Flex classes (as you do). Unfortunately, many of  
the classes have properties defined as "private" instead of  
"protected", despite being clearly suitable candidates for consumers  
to extend. This results in developers like myself being forced to  
copy-paste entire classes just to override "high integrity"  
properties. In Javascript, this would not be an issue.

Do you get the feeling that the majority of developers who aren't  
writing the Javascript you're talking about will be left with a new  
language that doesn't fit their development profile? Do you think  
that the developers who will write large-scale Javascript will cater  
to those who are used to a more traditional approach?

My gut feeling to those two questions are "yes" and "no", but  
unfortunately that's all it is; a gut feeling.


Cheers,

--
Nathan de Vries



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