On 8/16/05, Jeffrey Moss <jeff / opendbms.com> wrote:
> > ...but I still feel that prototype-based languages have a certain
> > conceptual elegance that is lacking in class-based alternatives.
> 
> It's interesting the part western philosophy played in language design, I
> tend to agree with you about the conceptual nature of class vs prototype
> inheritance, but class based inheritance is easier for me to use, easier to
> lay out in my mind.
> 
> Here's an interesting read on the subject:
> http://www.helsinki.fi/~jppesone/papers/kandi.html
> 
> Summary:
> From an ontological point of view the prototype-based languages win. There
> is little evidence of a strange platonic realm of categories, but
> class-based languages don't necessarily have to be realist in their
> ontology - a language can include universals and "Santa Claus" without
> committing to realism (von Wrigth 1972, 198). Unless the prototype-based
> languages include some notion of categories they lack something
> psychologically very important: the capacity of categorization.
> 
> -Jeff

Very interesting. Thanks for the link. This is all ironic right now as
I am currently working on implementing a complete Ruby environment
inside/using Io. It has been interesting on how easy it was to lay the
class based design of Ruby over the prototype based Io. I am not quite
done solidifying the final translation between the two but when I get
further I will throw the code up for consumption.

Sometimes all we need is an initial pattern to help prime the mind.
Then we can go on to clone or copy that pattern into classes or
prototypes.

Brian.