Minimalist Classes

Dmitry Soshnikov dmitry.soshnikov at
Tue Nov 1 13:08:37 PDT 2011

On 01.11.2011 23:46, Allen Wirfs-Brock wrote:
> On Nov 1, 2011, at 12:27 PM, Jeremy Ashkenas wrote:
>> On Tue, Nov 1, 2011 at 3:21 PM, Axel Rauschmayer <axel at 
>> <mailto:axel at>> wrote:
>>     Another problem: What if an instance method makes a super-call?
>>     A slightly less elegant (and performant) variant of your solution
>>     that works in both of the above cases is:
>>     - Keep track (per object and method) of the object where the
>>     previous super-call (e.g. ended up.
>>     - Start your search either there or at |this|: look for the
>>     *second* occurrence of property "foo". [optional: optimize
>>     non-|this| case]
>> Nope -- I think that design isn't the correct semantics. super() 
>> exists to delegate back to parent implementations of *the current 
>> method*. When calling a different instance method the calls should 
>> always start back out at the bottom of the inheritance hierarchy -- 
>> not at whatever level you happened to be on at the time.
> Who says?  See 
> Note that this is a direct transliteration of code from one of the 
> first and longest lived object-oriented class libraries (see comments 
> at the head of the file).  So super calls to "other methods" have a 
> long history.  It is a relatively rare technique, but sometimes it is 
> essential.  In this particular case, a super call to the same method 
> would produce a loop.  In this case choice of doing and 
> needed to be made by the original programmer based upon their 
> decomposition of methods.

Yes, I agree that ability to define own super method name is useful (and 
some languages require it, even for constructors, e.g. Python).

However, another question I have. More often it's needed only to call 
the parent method exactly with the same name. Can we may it's optional?

I mean, if syntactic for is super(...), then we take the name from the 
caller function's name. Else, in case of the name is 
specified explicitly.


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