[Pharo-dev] Slot class builder: Anonymous class modification

Igor Stasenko siguctua at gmail.com
Fri Nov 22 10:27:52 EST 2013

On 22 November 2013 16:25, Igor Stasenko <siguctua at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 22 November 2013 16:04, Camille Teruel <camille.teruel at gmail.com>wrote:
>> Hi everyone,
>> With Esteban, we bumped into a problem with anonymous subclasses and the
>> slot class builder.
>> The problem is that once an anonymous class is created is not possible to
>> modify it.
>> Here is the problem:
>> For creating an anonymous class with the new class builder API you do
>> something like:
>> myAnonymousClass := AnonymousClassInstaller make: [ :classBuilder |
>>         classBuilder
>>                 superclass: Object;
>>                 name: #MyAnonymousClass;
>>                 .... ]
>> What happens is that the class builder asks the class installer if the
>> class named #MyAnonymousClass exists or not to know if this a class to be
>> created or to be modified.
>> Here, the strategy of the anonymous class installer is to always answer
>> no. So ok, now you have you're anonymous class.
>> But what happens when you do something like:
>> myAnonymousClass addInstVarNamed: #newIV
>> Since the class has no clue of what class installer was used to create
>> it, it instantiate a new one, and a PharoClassInstaller !
>> This new class installer then says to the class builder that there is no
>> class named MyAnonymousClass so it creates it! And it install it in the
>> system dictionary!
>> And myAnonymousClass is not modified.
>> So there is several problem here:
>> - a class doesn't know which class installer was used to create it
>> - even if the class would know that, the anonymous class installer would
>> always say that it doesn't know it and a new class would be created
>> So one possible solution for that is to have one class installer per
>> environment (so add one iv in SystemDictionary right now), like that a
>> class would know what class installer was used to create it.
>> What would happen then is that you don't create anonymous classes
>> anymore, that is to say a class not installed in any environment, but
>> instead you create a class that exist in an environment separated from the
>> system dictionary.
>> What do you think?
>> i think that this expression:
> myAnonymousClass addInstVarNamed: #newIV
> should create and answer new original class.
> And don't take me wrong a 'new class' means just a new class object, which
> is not installed/registered anywhere, because it is done at next step (if
> its necessary).
> I'm not sure what this 'class installer' thingy comes from and it looks
> completely irrelevant. We must have clear separation between operations
> which creating new classes
> and installing/registering them inside environment.
> Because anonymous class is not one which has no name, it is one which is
> not registered in any public place. For the rest , it should behave in same
> way as public one.
> The fact that IDE tries to hide it and simulate as if you modified
> existing class is not really important here, because it is higher-level
> contracts and responsibilities.
imo, a better term to use for it would be 'private class' , because
anonymous is a bit fuzzy.

> --
> Best regards,
> Igor Stasenko.

Best regards,
Igor Stasenko.
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