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Linux Journal: CORBA, Part I

Feb 05, 2004, 11:00 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Gerry Pocock)

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"Over the last 20 years or so, object-oriented programming techniques have matured from a curiosity to a major component of almost every software engineer's programming toolbox. The reason for this growth is easy to understand: object-oriented programming techniques help software engineers solve real problems, that is, constructing and maintaining software products.

"In the Linux world, one can find object-oriented programming techniques realized in a variety of programming languages, including Perl, Python, Java and C++. Even though these programming languages utilize different programming constructs to realize object-oriented techniques, they all have one thing in common: the mechanism they employ to invoke an object's method. In all of these languages, an object's method is invoked by treating the method as if it were a regular function/procedure, providing a special reference to the object with which the method is associated. For example, C++ uses the keyword 'this' while Python uses the keyword 'self' to refer to the object.

"The designers of these various programming languages have chosen to use this mechanism because it works and because it provides the best performance as compared to alternative mechanisms—an excellent design trade-off, but there is a problem. For those who construct applications that use multiple processes, this mechanism prevents them from using object-oriented techniques between processes. Simply stated, it is not possible to invoke an object's method in one process from an object in another process..."

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