prototypes vs classes was: Re: Sun's HotSpot

Steve Dekorte steve at
Fri Oct 9 22:14:23 UTC 1998

David Farber <dfarber at> wrote:
> i have to admit that i have not had much opportunity to use prototypes, but
> from what i've heard and read about prototyped systems (the venerable Joe
> the Box comes to mind) is that the flexibility of prototypes makes it harder
> to enforce the structure needed later on in a large system. 

You're right about the importance of abstraction. The disagreement is on how
to go about it. Class-based langauges force the user to make abstractions
first. I would argue that people(especially children) are not good at this
and that forcing them to do this results in poorer designs than can be 
achieved through incremental abstraction. Prototypes make incremental
abstraction easier.


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