Archive for October 25, 2011

Helping with the OO learning curve: How to connect two objects

A significant problem of all object-oriented programming systems has been the learning curve of getting to know the object system.  I’ve seen little work on helping the programmer to understand the object system.  I had just these kinds of problems when I was trying to figure out the sound classes in Java, and suddenly had to deal with all these Consumer and Producer classes that I’d never heard of. The below is an interesting step in helping the programmer fill in that knowledge.  An interesting follow-on question: What does the programmer remember after using Matchmaker about the object system?  Does the programmer learn anything?  Does knowledge accrue and transfer?

In the Eclipse framework, the window that displays code written in the new language is called an Editor; a function that searches the code for symbols or keywords is called a Scanner. That much a seasoned developer could probably glean by looking over the Eclipse source code. But say you want to add a new Scanner to Eclipse, one that allows you to highlight particular symbols. It turns out that, in addition to your Editor and Scanner objects, you would need to invoke a couple of objects with the unintuitive names of DamageRepairer and PresentationReconciler and then overwrite a function called getPresentationReconciler in yet a third object called a SourceViewerConfiguration.

With Matchmaker, the developer would simply type the words “editor” and “scanner” into the query fields, and the program would return the names of the objects that link them and a description of the modifications required to any existing functions.

via An oracle for object-oriented programmers – MIT News Office.

October 25, 2011 at 9:11 am Leave a comment


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