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William Anderson
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OO design patterns, when applied appropriately and correctly, can very elegantly solve complex problems A very true statement, but vague enough to be true of any paradigm. It seems to me that relational, procedural, semantic(www.w3.org/standards/semanticweb), rule-based, pipeline (*nix shell),prototype-based and functional methods of process and data abstraction are all very useful; just like OO. Ideally we would use whichever abstractions (or lack thereof) suited the problem domain best, but we don't for a few reasons: 1. It would mean more developer time spent not only learning another language but learning a whole new set of best practices 2. Integration between langauges is nontrivial (perhaps less so in .NET) 3. Large tool systems (by which I mean the Java Platform) are OO 4. Good tools and techniques for modeling are either not as widely developed or are less important because the language is itself the most succint way of modeling a certain style of programming 5. It is hard to be creative enough to model a problem space in the same way a domain expert would. By the very fact of not being a domain expert we lack the same degree of sophisitication and organization in our mental models. Ideally I would use simple, extensible languages to model a problem in the most precise and elegant way. Given that it takes a better programmer than myself to do that well, I will continue to rely on ready made abstractions like OO and relational modeling. What is important to look out for is when our abstractions fail us (http://sites.google.com/site/steveyegge2/decision-time) . OO may be effective but it is not the most general or flexible means of modeling. It is represented by Trees or Acyclic Digraphs, whereas the Semantic Web and rule-based programming spans Graph theory in general. Relational algebra depends upon set theory which was considered for a while to be the foundations of mathematics. With category theory (more foundation that set theory) being of interest to language researchers, who knows what more flexible abstractions we might see?
Toggle Commented May 13, 2011 on Why Objects Suck at Coding Horror
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May 12, 2011