[Types-sig] Re: Meta-classes discussion starter

Gordon McMillan gmcm@hypernet.com
Mon, 30 Nov 1998 13:08:47 -0500

Evan whines:
> <whine>
> So is everyone speechless with awe? disgust? ennui?
> Does this belong elsewhere? nowhere?
> Throw me a bone, somebody.
> </whine>

1) I don't think it belongs here, unless you shoe-horn it into the 
types / classes discussion (or lack thereof).

2) I read it about 6 times, and only sort-of got an idea of where you 
were headed.

3) Whether or not the intent is good, the syntax is, I think, 
unmanagable - just way too arcane.

4) The only application of this that was evident was the 
implementation of "class methods" (in the more esoteric definition of 
same), which is something only a small number of people seem to 
miss, (perhaps because only SmallTalkers have any idea what it 
means). By contrast, the most popular application of metaclasses 
seems to be to install __getattr__ and __setattr__ hooks, and I don't 
see how your proposal furthers that. But see (2), above.

5) You also seem to be proposing vast changes in Python's class 
model. The current metaclass hook is, of course, a wart on the 
current class model; but one that's backwards compatible. If we're 
talking about the Python 2 class model, I'm not sure I agree with 
your definition of metaclasses. Not sure I disagree, either. See (2).

if-you-can't-bury-the-family-skeleton-at-least-make-it-dance-ly y'rs

- Gordon