interactive help on the base object

Ian Kelly ian.g.kelly at
Mon Dec 9 11:12:12 CET 2013

On Sun, Dec 8, 2013 at 4:01 PM, Mark Janssen <dreamingforward at> wrote:
> Likewise, WITH A COMPUTER, there is a definite order which can't be
> countermanded by simply having this artifice called "Object".  If you
> FEE(L)s hadn't noticed (no longer using the insult "foo"s out of
> respect for the sensativities of the brogrammers), this artifice has
> just been *called on the floor* with this little innocent question
> that fired up this discussion again (don't hate the messenger).
> Again:  people entering the community are pointing out a problem --
> that Object is both trying to be the BASE and the SUPERclass of all
> objects.

You're mixing two different terminologies.  Whereas "superclass"
contrasts with "subclass" and connotes an imaginary spatial
relationship, "base" contrasts with "derived" (not "top"), which
pairing does not suggest any spatial relationship at all.  There is no
inconsistency in that these two words happen to mean the same thing.

>> Likewise it doesn't matter whether we draw class hierarchies from the top
>> down or the bottom up or even sidewise:
> Have you caught it by now, friends:  IT MATTERS TO THE COMPUTER.

No, I'm pretty sure the computer doesn't care one whit whether the
inheritance hierarchy that I scribble on a random sheet of paper
happens to be represented as top-down, bottom-up, left-right,
right-left, center-out, ana-kata, or using any other conceivable
spatial relationship that I may have omitted.  The computer only cares
(inasmuch as I'm willing to personify it) about the actual *code* that
I feed into it.  How the programmer abstracts or visualizes that code
is irrelevant.

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