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09 metaclasses

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09 metaclasses

  1. 1. 9. Understanding Classes and Metaclasses
  2. 2. Birds-eye view © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Introduction 1.2 Reify your metamodel — A fully reflective system models its own metamodel. Reify your metamodel — A fully reflective system models its own metamodel.
  3. 3. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.3 Roadmap > Metaclasses in 7 points > Indexed Classes > Class Instance Variables > Class Variables > Pool Dictionaries Selected material courtesy Stéphane Ducasse
  4. 4. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.4 Roadmap > Metaclasses in 7 points > Indexed Classes > Class Instance Variables > Class Variables > Pool Dictionaries
  5. 5. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.5 Metaclasses in 7 points 1. Every object is an instance of a class 2. Every class eventually inherits from Object 3. Every class is an instance of a metaclass 4. The metaclass hierarchy parallels the class hierarchy 5. Every metaclass inherits from Class and Behavior 6. Every metaclass is an instance of Metaclass 7. The metaclass of Metaclass is an instance of Metaclass Adapted from Goldberg & Robson, Smalltalk-80 — The Language
  6. 6. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.6 Metaclasses in 7 points 1. Every object is an instance of a class 2. Every class eventually inherits from Object 3. Every class is an instance of a metaclass 4. The metaclass hierarchy parallels the class hierarchy 5. Every metaclass inherits from Class and Behavior 6. Every metaclass is an instance of Metaclass 7. The metaclass of Metaclass is an instance of Metaclass
  7. 7. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.7 1. Every object is an instance of a class Remember the Snakes and Ladders Board Game …
  8. 8. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.8 Metaclasses in 7 points 1. Every object is an instance of a class 2. Every class eventually inherits from Object 3. Every class is an instance of a metaclass 4. The metaclass hierarchy parallels the class hierarchy 5. Every metaclass inherits from Class and Behavior 6. Every metaclass is an instance of Metaclass 7. The metaclass of Metaclass is an instance of Metaclass
  9. 9. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.9 2. Every class inherits from Object > Every object is-an Object = — The class of every object ultimately inherits from Object Caveat: in Pharo, Object has a superclass called ProtoObject aSnakeSquare is-a SnakeSquare and is-a BoardSquare and is-an Object
  10. 10. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.10 The Meaning of is-a > When an object receives a message, the method is looked up in the method dictionary of its class, and, if necessary, its superclasses, up to Object
  11. 11. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.11 Responsibilities of Object > Object — represents the common object behavior – error-handling, halting … — all classes should inherit ultimately from Object
  12. 12. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.12 Metaclasses in 7 points 1. Every object is an instance of a class 2. Every class eventually inherits from Object 3. Every class is an instance of a metaclass 4. The metaclass hierarchy parallels the class hierarchy 5. Every metaclass inherits from Class and Behavior 6. Every metaclass is an instance of Metaclass 7. The metaclass of Metaclass is an instance of Metaclass
  13. 13. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.13 3. Every class is an instance of a metaclass > Classes are objects too! — Every class X is the unique instance of its metaclass, called X class
  14. 14. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.14 Metaclasses are implicit > There are no explicit metaclasses — Metaclasses are created implicitly when classes are created — No sharing of metaclasses (unique metaclass per class)
  15. 15. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.15 Metaclasses by Example BoardSquare allSubclasses SnakeSquare allSubclasses SnakeSquare allInstances SnakeSquare instVarNames SnakeSquare back: 5 SnakeSquare selectors SnakeSquare canUnderstand: #new SnakeSquare canUnderstand: #setBack: a Set(SnakeSquare FirstSquare LadderSquare) a Set() an Array(<-2[6] <-4[11] <-6[11]) #('back') <-5[nil] an IdentitySet(#setBack: #printOn: #destination) false true
  16. 16. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.16 Metaclasses in 7 points 1. Every object is an instance of a class 2. Every class eventually inherits from Object 3. Every class is an instance of a metaclass 4. The metaclass hierarchy parallels the class hierarchy 5. Every metaclass inherits from Class and Behavior 6. Every metaclass is an instance of Metaclass 7. The metaclass of Metaclass is an instance of Metaclass
  17. 17. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.17 4. The metaclass hierarchy parallels the class hierarchy
  18. 18. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.18 Uniformity between Classes and Objects > Classes are objects too, so … — Everything that holds for objects holds for classes as well — Same method lookup strategy – Look up in the method dictionary of the metaclass back: is a Snake constructor method
  19. 19. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.19 About the Buttons
  20. 20. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.20 Metaclasses in 7 points 1. Every object is an instance of a class 2. Every class eventually inherits from Object 3. Every class is an instance of a metaclass 4. The metaclass hierarchy parallels the class hierarchy 5. Every metaclass inherits from Class and Behavior 6. Every metaclass is an instance of Metaclass 7. The metaclass of Metaclass is an instance of Metaclass
  21. 21. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.21 5. Every metaclass inherits from Class and Behavior Every class is-a Class = —The metaclass of every class inherits from Class
  22. 22. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.22 Where is new defined?
  23. 23. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.23 Responsibilities of Behavior > Behavior — Minimum state necessary for objects that have instances. — Basic interface to the compiler. — State: – class hierarchy link, method dictionary, description of instances (representation and number) — Methods: – creating a method dictionary, compiling method – instance creation (new, basicNew, new:, basicNew:) – class hierarchy manipulation (superclass:, addSubclass:) – accessing (selectors, allSelectors, compiledMethodAt: ) – accessing instances and variables (allInstances, instVarNames) – accessing class hierarchy (superclass, subclasses) – testing (hasMethods, includesSelector, canUnderstand:, inheritsFrom:, isVariable)
  24. 24. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.24 Responsibilities of ClassDescription > ClassDescription — adds a number of facilities to basic Behavior: – named instance variables – category organization for methods – the notion of a name (abstract) – maintenance of Change sets and logging changes – most of the mechanisms needed for fileOut — ClassDescription is an abstract class: its facilities are intended for inheritance by the two subclasses, Class and Metaclass.
  25. 25. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.25 Responsibilities of Class > Class — represents the common behavior of all classes – name, compilation, method storing, instance variables … — representation for classVariable names and shared pool variables (addClassVarName:, addSharedPool:, initialize) — Class inherits from Object because Class is an Object – Class knows how to create instances, so all metaclasses should inherit ultimately from Class
  26. 26. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.26 Metaclasses in 7 points 1. Every object is an instance of a class 2. Every class eventually inherits from Object 3. Every class is an instance of a metaclass 4. The metaclass hierarchy parallels the class hierarchy 5. Every metaclass inherits from Class and Behavior 6. Every metaclass is an instance of Metaclass 7. The metaclass of Metaclass is an instance of Metaclass
  27. 27. 6. Every metaclass is an instance of Metaclass © Oscar Nierstrasz LECTURE TITLE 27
  28. 28. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.28 Metaclass Responsibilities > Metaclass — Represents common metaclass Behavior – instance creation (subclassOf:) – creating initialized instances of the metaclass’s sole instance – initialization of class variables – metaclass instance protocol (name:inEnvironment:subclassOf:....) – method compilation (different semantics can be introduced) – class information (inheritance link, instance variable, ...)
  29. 29. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.29 Metaclasses in 7 points 1. Every object is an instance of a class 2. Every class eventually inherits from Object 3. Every class is an instance of a metaclass 4. The metaclass hierarchy parallels the class hierarchy 5. Every metaclass inherits from Class and Behavior 6. Every metaclass is an instance of Metaclass 7. The metaclass of Metaclass is an instance of Metaclass
  30. 30. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.30 7. The metaclass of Metaclass is an instance of Metaclass
  31. 31. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.31 Navigating the metaclass hierarchy MetaclassHierarchyTest>>testHierarchy "The class hierarchy" self assert: SnakeSquare superclass = BoardSquare. self assert: BoardSquare superclass = Object. self assert: Object superclass superclass = nil. "The parallel metaclass hierarchy" self assert: SnakeSquare class name = 'SnakeSquare class'. self assert: SnakeSquare class superclass = BoardSquare class. self assert: BoardSquare class superclass = Object class. self assert: Object class superclass superclass = Class. self assert: Class superclass = ClassDescription. self assert: ClassDescription superclass = Behavior. self assert: Behavior superclass = Object. "The Metaclass hierarchy" self assert: SnakeSquare class class = Metaclass. self assert: BoardSquare class class = Metaclass. self assert: Object class class = Metaclass. self assert: Class class class = Metaclass. self assert: ClassDescription class class = Metaclass. self assert: Behavior class class = Metaclass. self assert: Metaclass superclass = ClassDescription. "The fixpoint" self assert: Metaclass class class = Metaclass
  32. 32. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.32 Roadmap > Metaclasses in 7 points > Indexed Classes > Class Instance Variables > Class Variables > Pool Dictionaries
  33. 33. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.33 Two ways to represent objects > Named or indexed instance variables — Named: name of GamePlayer — Indexed: #(Jack Jill) at: 1 > Or looking at them in another way: — Objects with pointers to other objects — Objects with arrays of bytes (word, long) — Difference for efficiency reasons: – arrays of bytes (like C strings) are faster than storing an array of pointers, each pointing to a single byte.
  34. 34. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.34 Different methods to create classes Indexed Named Instance Variables Definition Method No Yes #subclass: … Yes Yes #variableSubclass: … Yes No #variableByteSubclass: … > See the subclass creation protocol of Class > Constraints — Pointer classes defined using #subclass: support any kind of subclasses — Byte classes defined using #variableSubclass: can only have: variableSubclass: or variableByteSubclass: subclasses
  35. 35. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.35 Testing methods > See testing protocols of Behavior: — #isPointers, #isBits, #isBytes, #isFixed, #isVariable — #kindOfSubclass Object allSubclasses select: [:class | class isBytes] a Set(ByteArray MwSynchronizationWrapper MwBlockMethodWrapper ExternalAddress MCMockClassH LargeNegativeInteger LargePositiveInteger ByteSymbol MwCountMethodWrapper MwTimeMethodWrapper MwMethodWrapper MwBlockHandlerMethodWrapper ByteString MwCalledMethodWrapper UUID CompiledMethod)
  36. 36. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.36 Defining Indexed Classes > Example — instantiating an Array: ArrayedCollection variableSubclass: #Array instanceVariableNames: '' classVariableNames: '' poolDictionaries: '' category: 'Collections-Arrayed' Array new: 4 #(nil nil nil nil) #(1 2 3 4) class isVariable true
  37. 37. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.37 Defining an Indexed Class Object variableSubclass: #IndexedObject instanceVariableNames: '' classVariableNames: '' poolDictionaries: '' category: '' (IndexedObject new: 2) at: 1 put: 'Jack'; at: 2 put: 'Jill'; at: 1 'Jack'
  38. 38. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.38 Indexed Classes / Instance Variables > An indexed variable is implicitly added to the list of instance variables — Only one indexed instance variable per class — Access with at: and at:put: – NB: answers the value, not the receiver > Subclasses should also be indexed
  39. 39. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.39 Roadmap > Metaclasses in 7 points > Indexed Classes > Class Instance Variables > Class Variables > Pool Dictionaries
  40. 40. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.40 Class Instance Variables > Class are objects too — Instances of their metaclass – Methods looked up in the method dictionary of their metaclass — Can also define instance variables > When a metaclass defines a new instance variable, then its instance (a Class) gets a new variable — I.e., in addition to subclass, superclasses, methodDict… > Use class instance variables to represent the private state of the class — E.g., number of instances, superclass etc. – Not to represent information shared by all instances!
  41. 41. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.41 Example: the Singleton Pattern > A class with only one instance — We keep the unique instance created in an instance variable WebServer class instanceVariableNames: 'uniqueInstance’ WebServer class>>new self error: 'Use uniqueInstance to get the unique instance' WebServer class>>uniqueInstance uniqueInstance isNil ifTrue: [uniqueInstance := self basicNew initialize]. ^ uniqueInstance
  42. 42. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.42 Roadmap > Metaclasses in 7 points > Indexed Classes > Class Instance Variables > Class Variables > Pool Dictionaries
  43. 43. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.43 Class Variable = Shared Variable > To share information amongst all instances of a class, use a “class variable” — Shared and directly accessible by all the instances of the class and subclasses — Accessible to both instance and class methods — Begins with an uppercase letter
  44. 44. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.44 Initializing class variables > Class variables should be initialized by an initialize method on the class side, or by lazy initialization Magnitude subclass: #DateAndTime instanceVariableNames: 'seconds offset jdn nanos' classVariableNames: 'LocalTimeZone' poolDictionaries: 'ChronologyConstants' category: 'Kernel-Chronology’ Date class>>localTimeZone "Answer the local time zone" ^ LocalTimeZone ifNil: [ LocalTimeZone := TimeZone default ]
  45. 45. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.45 ClassVariables vs. Instance Variables
  46. 46. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.46 Roadmap > Metaclasses in 7 points > Indexed Classes > Class Instance Variables > Class Variables > Pool Dictionaries
  47. 47. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.47 Pool Dictionaries > A Pool Dictionary is a shared variable — Begins with a uppercase letter. — Shared by a group of classes not linked by inheritance. > Each class possesses its own pool dictionary (containing pool variables). — They are not inherited. > Don’t use them!
  48. 48. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.48 Examples of Pool Dictionaries ArrayedCollection subclass: #Text instanceVariableNames: 'string runs' classVariableNames: '' poolDictionaries: 'TextConstants' category: 'Collections-Text' > Elements stored into TextConstants like Ctrl, CR, ESC, Space can be directly accessed from all the classes like ParagraphEditor.... > Hint: You can inspect any Pool Dictionary
  49. 49. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.49 Smalltalk System Dictionary > Pool Dictionaries are stored in the Smalltalk system dictionary Smalltalk inspect (Smalltalk at: #TextConstants) at: #ESC $
  50. 50. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.50 Accessing globals > Use message-sending instead of directly accessing pool variables stream nextPut: Lf "A pool variable visible to the class" stream nextPut: Character lfvs.
  51. 51. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.51 What you should know! What does is-a mean? What is the difference between sending a message to an object and to its class? What are the responsibilities of a metaclass? What is the superclass of Object class? Where is new defined? What is the difference between class variables and class instance variables?
  52. 52. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Understanding Classes and Metaclasses 9.52 Can you answer these questions? Why are there no explicit metaclasses? When should you override new? Why don’t metaclasses inherit from Class? Are there any classes that don’t inherit from Object? Is Metaclass a Class? Why or why not? Where are the methods class and superclass defined? When should you define an indexed class? Are Java static variables just like class variables or class instance variables? Where is the SystemDictionary Smalltalk defined?
  53. 53. © Oscar Nierstrasz ST — Introduction 1.53 Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported You are free: to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work to Remix — to adapt the work Under the following conditions: Attribution. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). Share Alike. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same, similar or a compatible license. For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. The best way to do this is with a link to this web page. Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder. Nothing in this license impairs or restricts the author's moral rights. License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

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