OO refactoring trial ??

Chinook chinook.nr at tds.net
Wed Jun 29 07:01:18 CEST 2005

On Wed, 29 Jun 2005 00:18:24 -0400, Paul McGuire wrote
(in article <1120018704.586468.68720 at f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>):

> Lee -
> Bruce Eckel's observation:
> "the above scaffolding of Obstacle, Player and GameElementFactory
> (which was translated from the Java version of this example) is
> unnecessary - it's only required for languages that have static
> type checking. As long as the concrete Python classes follow the form
> of the required classes, we don't need any base classes..."
> is consistent with my "duck-typing" comment that all that is needed of
> A,B,etc. is that they provide the necessary testit and doit methods in
> the proper form.  He also goes on to say that, even if the base classes
> were empty, they still provide a useful handle for all of the derived
> classes, to indicate they are all common subtypes of "Shape" or
> whatever.
> I think you were referring to the "Poking Python with a Stick" entry in
> the second link.  The inheritance of all taunts from Taunt allowed the
> author to put some overriding common-to-all-taunts behavior into the
> superclass, even if it was just a "sorry, not implemented" exception
> into the base Taunt class's tauntTheKnights() method.  The idea was to
> provide a runtime exception if the needed method had not been
> overridden in the subclass.  But it also provides a place to put any
> other common-to-all-taunts behavior, perhaps a common constructor, or
> other common helper methods.  I think this is a good use of
> inheritance, when the base class actually adds some value to the
> architecture, even if it is just Bruce Eckel's empty placeholder base
> class.  Note also that this author was doing patterns experimentation
> in both Python and Java.  I envision him writing the factory's
> getInstance() method in Java, and having to declare its return value
> type.  In this case Java really drives you to having all possible
> return values derive from a common base class, so that you can define
> the method as:
> 	Taunt getInstance(string tauntTypeTag) { ...
> which is a bit easier to deal with than just declaring that getInstance
> returns an object, and then having to cast it - in fact, if there were
> no common base type, it would be problematic to know just what to cast
> it to.
> But Python does not require this sort of type rigidity.  In your code,
> the only requirement is that each class A,B,etc. have testit and doit
> methods - they have to walk and talk like ducks, they don't need to
> *be* ducks.  My point in an earlier post was, I think many current
> design patterns were born out of the C++ and Java worlds, and may be
> overly restrictive for a comparable implementation in Python.
> One step you might take in the MultiEvaluator constructor is to
> validate the provided classes on input, so that you don't have to
> exhaustively test all A thru Z classes before finding out that you
> misspelled Z's doit method as "dooit".  This goes one better than the
> abstract subclass's "you forgot to override me" method implementation.
> In sum, both of the links you sent used examples that had inheritance
> hierarchies where the base class provided some contribution and
> commonality among the derived classes.  TauntArthur "is-a" Taunt,
> TauntGalahad "is-a" Taunt.  It really does look like the Factory
> pattern should return objects that share a common base class.  But in
> Python, that common base class can also be just "something that walks
> like a duck."
> -- Paul

Thank you for the clarification Paul.  I missed the influence of C++ and Java 
origins because my past experience was more in the assembler realm with a 
little C and Pascal, and now I'm trying to get up to speed with Python, ObjC 
and the OO world.  You've helped me look at what I'm reading in a better 

Thanks again,

Lee C

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