Lazily-evaluating Squeak objects

Brian Rice water at
Tue Jun 8 03:49:10 UTC 1999

I have a question of Smalltalk semantics.  I am working on a 
self-contained information system which I am trying to implement in 
the Squeak environment.  The nature of the system is such that some 
of information objects must contain references to themselves, or 
references to other objects that reference themselves.

Of course, my implementation takes my information objects and maps 
them directly to Squeak objects, with variables containing the 
object's references.  Naturally, instantiating an environment 
necessarily results in system deadlocks, due to self-referencing 
objects resulting in infinite recursion of message calls.  I've 
trashed my special-purpose image several times trying to work around 

Now, I know that a solution would be to implement the system as a 
dictionary that contained the references, with rules keeping the 
dictionary true to the environment model.  I've considered making a 
subclass of dictionary, and implementing it that way, but I'm 
inexperienced with systems Squeak programming.  I'm not familiar with 
the system's basic classes, so that this would be difficult.  The 
code would at least be complicated.

So, my question is: Is there a simple solution to this problem, or at 
least one that has already been crafted, perhaps in other Smalltalk 
systems?  Otherwise, pointers on modifying Dictionary's methods would 
help immensely.

     Thanks for your time,
         Brian Rice

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