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Posts Tagged ‘Object-oriented programming’

Which Path?

April 26, 2013 7 comments

Please peruse the graphic below and then answer these questions for BD00: Is it a forgone conclusion that object-oriented development is the higher quality path from requirements to source code for all software-intensive applications? Has object-oriented development transitioned over time from a heresy into a dogma?

SA vs OO

With the rising demand for more scaleable, distributed, fault-tolerant, concurrent systems and the continuing maturation of functional languages (founded on immutability, statelessness, message-passing (e.g. Erlang, Scala)), choosing between object-oriented and function-oriented technical approaches may be more important for success than choosing between agile development methodologies.

The Old Is New Again

May 5, 2012 6 comments

Because Moore’s law has seemingly run its course, vertical, single processor core speed scaling has given way to horizontal multicore scaling. The evidence of this shift is the fact that just about every mobile device and server and desktop and laptop is shipping with more than one processor core these days. Thus, the acquisition of concurrent and distributed design and programming skills is becoming more and more important as time tics forward. Can what Erlang’s Joe Armstrong coined as the “Concurrent Oriented Programming” style be usurping the well known and widely practiced object-oriented programming style as we speak?

Because of their focus on stateless, pure functions (as opposed to stateful objects), it seems to me that functional programming languages (e.g. Erlang, Haskell, Scala, F#) are a more natural fit to concurrent, distributed, software-intensive systems development than object-oriented languages like Java and C++; even though both these languages provide basic support for concurrent programming in the form of threads.

Likewise, even though I’m a big UML fan, I think that “old and obsoletestructured design modeling tools like Data and Control Flow Diagrams (DFD, CFD) may be better suited to the design of concurrent software. Even better, I think a mixture of the UML and DFD/CFD artifacts may be the best way (as Grady Booch says) to “visualize and reason” about necessarily big software designs prior to coding up and testing the beasts.

So, what do you think? Should the old become new again? Should the venerable DFD be resurrected and included in the UML portfolio of behavior diagrams?

One Size Fits All

August 6, 2011 Leave a comment

On Bjarne Stroustrup’s FAQ page,  he state’s his opinion on the utility of object oriented programming:

The strength of OOP is that there are many problems that can be usefully expressed using class hierarchies – the main weakness of OOP is that too many people try to force too many problems into a hierarchical mould. Not every program should be object-oriented. As alternatives, consider plain classes, generic programming, and free-standing functions (as in math, C, and Fortran).

The same could be said of organizations of people, no? Of course, in a purposeful org of people and machines, the goal is to produce and distribute material wealth to all stakeholders: products/services to its customers and financial well-being to its employees and owners.  Thus, some sort of controller-controllee structure is required to keep the org from deviating too far from its purpose. There are alternative structures to hierarchy but, as Bjarne sez, “too many people try to force too many problems into a hierarchical mould“. Bummer.

Procedural, Object-Oriented, Functional

In this interesting blog post, Dr Dobbs – Whither F#?, Andrew Binstock explores why he thinks “functional” programming hasn’t displaced “object-oriented” programming in the same way that object-oriented programming started slowly displacing “procedural” programming in the nineties. In a nutshell, Andrew thinks that the Return On Investment (ROI) may not be worth the climb:

“F# intrigued a few programmers who kicked the tires and then went back to their regular work. This is rather like what Haskell did a year earlier, when it was the dernier cri on Reddit and other programming community boards before sinking back into its previous status as an unusual curio. The year before that, Erlang underwent much the same cycle.”

functional programming is just too much of a divergence from regular programming. ”

“it’s the lack of demonstrable benefit for business solutions — which is where most of us live and work. Erlang, which is probably the closest to showing business benefits across a wide swath of business domains, is still a mostly server-side solution. And most server-side developers know and understand the problems they face.”

So, what do you think? What will eventually usurp the object-oriented way of thinking for programmers and designers in the future? The universe is constantly in flux and nothing stays the same, so the status quo loop modeled by option C below will be broken sometime, somewhere, and somehow. No?

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