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Re: Not an OO RFC, take 2

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Ovid via perl5-porters
June 21, 2021 06:14
Re: Not an OO RFC, take 2
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On Monday, 21 June 2021, 02:01:17 CEST, Chris Prather <> wrote:
> That's the starting point in the discussion of Corinna. That's the irreducible
> piece that if you throw out everything else we still would need to discuss.
> Even if you strip away everything else from Corinna you still need something
> like (with apologies to John Harper[2]):
> ```
> package LasersAndFeelings;
> use strict;
> use warnings;
> use experimental 'class';
> use experiemntal 'signatures';
> use Games::Dice 'roll';
> class Character {
>     has $style;
>     has $role;
>     has $number;
>     sub new($class, $s, $r) {
>       $style = $s;
>       $roll = $r;
>       $number = roll '1d4+1';
>       return bless(__INSTANCE__, $class);
>     }
>     sub attempt_move($s, $num_dice=1) {
>         my $dice = [roll '1d6' x $num_dice];
>         my $count = scalar grep { $_ > $number } $dice->@*;
>         for ($count) {
>             if ($count == $number) { return 'LASER FEELIGNS' } # !!!
>             if (0) { return 'FAIL' }  # critical fail
>             if (1) { return 'PARTIAL'} # complication
>             if (2) { return 'SUCCESS' } # everything's fine
>             if (3) { return 'BOON' } # critical success!
>         }
>     }
> }
> ```
> The bare minimum is a new kind of scope, a new kind of state, and a new kind of
> reference to hold it.

I've seen you write `sub new ...` a couple of times an even more stripped-down version of Corinna. When I was ripping things out for the MVP, I found myself asking a few questions.
   - How do we get the behavior I'm removing?
   - Can we safely add the behavior back after the MVP?

Your constructor is a great example of something we shouldn't do, for two reasons. If you read the construction detail (pseudo-code at, you see that superclass constructors are called for you, as they should be. The variable assignment is done for you, as it should be. These are extremely important design goals because anything the language can do safely, it should. Perl devs should stop needing to wire things together manually. It's grunt work that distracts from what we're actually trying to do. That's why I didn't remove the `:reader` and  `:writer` attributes: we shouldn't devs creating have multiple broken implementations with different ideas about how they should work. 

Further, if we use this stripped down version, we can't add new() back into Corinna safely without potentially breaking a lot of code that already has new(). Worse, we're trapped with `sub` instead of `method` because switching to that later means that people using older versions of Corinna suddenly find it won't work with newer versions because Corinna doesn't allow you to call subs with the $object-> syntax. It actually knows the difference between subs and methods.

This was part of the "irreducible complexity" I've struggled with.
> This is much more stripped down than the Corinna proposal because Curtis was
> worried he needed to have feature parity with Moo/se otherwise people wouldn't
> adopt the new system. 

Aside from the fact that people have said this (sometimes yelled this) to me often, this isn't entirely true. See my discussion above about creating an irreducibly complex MVP. Also, consider that I removed `:builder`. This pissed off some people, but I still contend it was the right thing to do. (
> After two decades of defending it,
> I now believe  Perl's existing object system is a shambles and makes writing clean
> scalable code more difficult than it should be. We need to take the lessons we have
> learned from Moo/se and others and improve upon them. That's a problem perl5-porters can solve.

You want to know whose object system is a shambles? Python. It's a steaming pile of ones and zeros. The addition of dataclasses helps, but seriously, Python's OO is a joke. But nobody in Python reaches for better solutions because Python's OO is core. And they're kicking our ass.

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