Tuesday, May 07, 2002

Objects: Has Bertrand Meyer gone over to the dark side of the force?

Object guru Bertrand Meyer has a three-part series in Software Development magazine along with a new book on .NET. He has also enabled the Eiffel language to interoperated in the .NET environment. In his first article, "Polygot Programming," he promotes the language interoperability capability of .NET where Microsoft has truly gone where no one has gone before.

A routine written in a language L1 may call another routine written in a different language L2.

A module in L1 may declare a variable whose type is a class declared in L2, and then call the corresponding L2 routines on that variable.

If both languages are object oriented, a class in L1 can inherit from a class in L2.

Exceptions triggered by a routine written in L1 and not handled on the L1 side will be passed to the caller, which - if written in L2 - will process it using L2's own exception-handling mechanism.

During a debugging session, you may move freely and seamlessly across modules written in L1 and L2.

As Meyer points out, no one has ever come close to this level of interoperability before.

See Bertrand's new book, The .NET Training Course. Pentice Hall, 2001. And his classic text on object technology, Object-Oriented Software Construction, 2nd Edition, Prentice Hall, 2000.


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