Smalltalk and Python

Randal L. Schwartz merlyn at
Fri Dec 15 10:46:57 EST 2000

>>>>> "Ian" == Ian Wild <ian at> writes:

>> > classes exist only by convention [in Perl]
>> 'only by convention'!?  Have they abrogated the 'bless'
>> keyword, now?

Ian> My understanding is that 'bless' does some internal
Ian> tweakery of a magic array (@INC).  If you promise not
Ian> to look too hard, you've got classes.  Anything that
Ian> needs a promise from me I'll regard as convention, not
Ian> a language construct.  YM, as they say, MV.

'bless' changes a portion of the datastructure holding the object
so that it remembers which package it's associated with, which
then permits runtime location of a method called against that object.

And isn't *everything* a "promise" at some point?  I don't see
anything less direct about Perl's object structure than say, C++'s
version of the same thing.  Isn't a C++ object just a struct behind
the scenes?

You dismiss Perl too easily.  As a hybrid (some objects, some not)
language, it's a very usable object model.  It's not smalltalk, which
is a cleaner interface, but it's certainly more usable *and*
introspective than C++ (which Larry Wall promised us Perl's OO would
*not* emulate {grin}), and more flexible (and therefore useful) than
Java's hybrid object model.

Randal L. Schwartz - Stonehenge Consulting Services, Inc. - +1 503 777 0095
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