Eliminating assignments and variable syntax (accessors)

Marcel Weiher marcel at system.de
Mon Aug 2 21:36:15 UTC 1999

> From: Travis Griggs <tgriggs at keyww.com>
> There is always a reciever followed by a message send. I'm always
> amused when I read code from Java or C++ where most of the message  
sends are of
> the implicit style (ala good ol' functions) and authors obvious  
> of
> the object/messaging pardigm is abviously nil. I'm not averted to  
getting rid
> of/or changing assignment syntax, but please don't do the implicit  
(or hidden)
> message sending thing.

I think there is some misunderstanding here.  The visible change for  
(reading) accessors/var-access would be exactly nil, nada, zip,  
zilch, nothing.  To illustrate, before:

	myInstanceVar doSomething.


	myInstanceVar doSomething.

The difference is that right now, this expression is always treated  
as directly accessing the variable, while with the proposal, it would  
be treated as calling the accessor (which is optimized away again  
if, for example, there is no accessor).  So the *visible* change is  
really very, very minimal.

The only visible change is variable writing / mutators, which change from:

	myInstanceVar := newValue


	myInstanceVar: newValue.

That really doesn't seem like such a big deal to me.  ( if you  
missed it, the '=' disappeard).  Again, the importan point is that  
the semantics have changed.


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