Emphasising the Role of the “Object” in Object Orientated Design

This is just a short pointer to an article written by James O. Coplien who happens to be a visiting professor at my old University. The article is entitled “Teaching OO: Putting the Object back into OOD“. Anyway the central premise of the article is that objects themselves should be viewed as the fundamental building block of object orientation rather than the class.

The article also reminded me of how objects are developed in JavaScript, object prototypes are used in the absence of the class found in conventional OO languages. While I certainly haven’t thought about consigning classes to the scrap heap (the article doesn’t go down that route either) it certainly made me think about how dynamically adding properties and methods onto objects can be a useful tool without having to explicitly do the work of defining a class that implements that functionality. Shifting your thoughts from the design of the hierarchical class structure to the design of object functionality and interface based object roles may help you to appreciate object orientation and it’s flexibility a little more.

Semantic Web Utility

A short while ago I wrote an article about the web as an application suite. Jon Udell recently wrote an article about Interactive Microcontent, in this article he discusses working with fragments of a document. One of the examples he gives is of calendar data embedded into a document, his example has many similarities to an example I gave in my article. Clay Shirky’s semantic web essay andTim Bray’s semi-rebuttal of it has recently raised the profile of the semantic web topic again. I think that coming up with real and concrete applications for embedded meta data will help to provide the impetus the semantic web (in whatever form it takes) needs to become more than just an academic exercise.