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Re: MMD as an object.

Leopold Toetsch
March 11, 2005 00:40
Re: MMD as an object.
Message ID:
Bob Rogers <> wrote:
>    From: Leopold Toetsch <>

>    1) is there a MultiSub object with one short name that holds all
>    possible long names (and function references)?
>    If yes, who is creating it: the Perl6 compiler emits code to do so or
>    it's up to Parrot to do the right thing?

> FWIW, Common Lisp specifies a "generic function" [1] that collects all
> methods defined for a given operation name.  (In Perl/Parrot, the
> generic function name for your examples would be the string "foo"; in
> Lisp, it would be the symbol "FOO" in some package, but the practical
> difference should be slight.)  The important thing is that the GF has
> all the information required to make method dispatch decisions.

That sounds exactly like the MultiSub object that gathers a candidate
list of all subroutines with the same short name.

> ... But on the other hand, the CL community has
> more than 15 years of experience with MMD, so I wanted to be sure
> everyone was aware of it.

Yeah, that's really helpful.

>    2) namespaces of (multi) subs.

>    A non-multi method is in the classes' namespace. In Parrot terms that's
>    currently:

>      %globals{"\0class_name"}{"method_name"}

>    I'm not quite sure, if the method hash shouldn't live inside the class.

> Is naming at this level really important here?

Well, the short name of the multi sub has to be stored somewhere.

> ... The operation itself
> needs a name (so that people can call it), and classes need class names
> (maybe), but all methods are implicitly named by the combination of
> operation plus argument signature.

Yes. That's the "long name" in Perl6 design documents.

> ... Which would seem to mean that,
> unlike perl5, the package in which a multimethod is defined doesn't
> matter; all that is captured by the argument signature.

Yep. You can define a multi sub anywhere.

> ... Or is it
> possible to have more than one method with the identical signature?  And
> if so, what does that mean?

There can be identical signatures in different scopes. Within one scope,
I don't know.

>    The "long name" is therefore a list of class names, which suggests
> that the single-dispatch naming above is backwards.  Of course, I'm
> probably out of my depth here . . .

The "long name" contains the signature. The "short name" is the bare

>    A multi method is similar, except that their can be more then one
>    with the same short name (which probably means that there has to be a
>    MultiSub object holding the long names)

> I'm not sure it is meaningful to give a sub a "short name,"

You call it by the short name.

>      %globals{"foo"}  -->  MultiSub{"foo_A_B" => Sub, ...}

> This sounds right to me.  Or perhaps

> 	%globals{"foo"}  -->  MultiSub{["foo", 'A', 'B'] => Sub, ...}

Yep, something like that.

> just to belabor the point a bit.

>    What about a not so global multi:

>      multi sub foo(A $a, B $b) {...}

>    Thanks for clarifying,
>    leo

> Is this really different?  After all, the operation "foo" should be just
> a string in either case.

Sure. But the string "foo" has to live in some namespace. But, it it's
not marked as global it's probably in either a package or a module, so
again it has it's namespace.

> 					-- Bob Rogers

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