How do you define "object-oriented"?

Kevin Fisher kgf at
Fri Apr 26 19:31:47 UTC 2002

On Fri, Apr 26, 2002 at 09:03:40PM +0200, Cees de Groot wrote:
> Kevin Fisher <kgf at> said:
> >I've read the quote on from Alan that (roughly paraphrased)
> >says "I invented the term object-oriented, and C++ was not what I had in
> >mind."
> >
> I think, apart from all the computer science stuff that has been invented to
> talk about object orientation, it basically comes down to the fact that OO was
> meant to make things simpler. C++ is a horrible complex mess - QED. 

This is true.  Wasn't Bjarn's original goal just to provide a new "style"
of programming to C (ie to bolt a new concept onto the hull of the old)?
What it's become...well, we don't need to go there...

> >Is it safe to say that something like Python is not truly object-oriented?
> >Or rather--if it's not objective right down to the smallest particle,
> >can it be called object-oriented?  I realize this could be a somewhat
> >flameworthy question...but I don't mean it to incite flames.  
> >
> It's a flameworthy question. Personally, I think that Python is object
> oriented; and it is certainly striving to be more complete in that
> respect, with Python 2.whateveristhelatestdotrelease you can inherit from
> the built-in types. OO is not black-and-white, I claim to have written OO
> software in VAX/Pascal. However, on the "OO-ness" scale, Smalltalk is a
> top scorer (as is, I think CLOS), Python less so, Java a whole lot less,
> and C++ waits until the language has been enhanced with an OO-ness scale
> position operator.

Ah, I see what you're saying.  

I seem to remember a discussion on slashdot about how you can do OO
with straight C if you code it a certain way.... sort of "OO programming:
it's a way of life", not so much the language you use, but rather how
you think and organize things.

With Squeak, for example, I guess you can truly "live the concept"
a lot easier than you can in other languages.

Oh and I certainly didn't mean to come off as bashing Python at all.
I think I was just expecting something else when I started looking at it. :)

> -- 
> Cees de Groot          <cg at>
> GnuPG 1024D/E0989E8B 0016 F679 F38D 5946 4ECD  1986 F303 937F E098 9E8B

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