Hi --

On Tue, 6 Dec 2005, Trans wrote:

>
> David A. Black wrote:
> >
> > This subject used to be approached in the spirit of making suggestions to
> > Matz, to help him in the process of coming up with a good replacement term
> > for "singleton class" if he decides to replace it.  For some reason it's
> > turned into people not only coining terms but actually using them publicly
> > as drop-in replacements, unremarked upon, for "singleton class."  The
> > result is that, de facto, there's no term any more, when there used to be
> > a perfectly serviceable term.  Instead there's a kind of smeared rainbow
> > of terms, and a lot of meta-explanations about why there's a smeared
> > rainbow instead of a term.
> >
> > It's regrettable that the thing singled out for this strange treatment is
> > something that's often quite difficult for Ruby learners to understand
> > anyway.  Having to learn not only the mechanics of singleton classes, but
> > also a bunch of Ruby community lore about who uses what term, just so that
> > one can understand what various people are saying, seems to me to be
> > pretty tiresome.
> >
> > Oh well -- obviously the shipped has sailed on this.  I just hope that if
> > Matz does make some kind of decision about it, people will actually pay
> > attention to it.
>
> Well, I think matz has never made a fird decision on it, and it seems
> has prefered to let the ciommunity sort it out, as is evidence by the
> fact the the source still referes to "virtual class", another perfectly
> servicable term but one I think you yourself objected too b/c of it's
> overlap with virtual classes in c.

I don't know what you mean about Matz not having made a firm decision.
Was he under some deadline, imposed by you?  Did he say, "Call singleton
classes lots of different things, when discussing Ruby with newcomers, and
let's have some kind of vulgar pseudo-Darwinian contest to see whose usage
outnumbers everyone else's"?

Or did he lose his right to make a decision at all because he hasn't
cleansed the source of the term "virtual class" and you caught him at it?
(Like a game of "Simon Says" -- "You said 'virtual class' -- you're out!")
Does every inconsistency or ambiguity in the source indicate something
that Matz "prefers to let the community sort out"?

These are rhetorical questions; your answers to them are actually already
present in what you've written.  My main goal is to suggest to others that
the growth of Ruby does not *have* to mean a growing disconnect between
the community and Matz, or the community and a set of traditional
practices (including the practice of discussing things with Matz and
taking an interest in what he says).  What we've got *can* scale, with a
little care and attention.


David
__
David A. Black
dblack / wobblini.net

"Ruby for Rails", forthcoming from Manning Publications, April 2006!