Classes versus Prototypes in Object-Oriented Languages
Author: Alan Borning
Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE Fall Joint
Computer Conference, Dallas, Texas, November 1986, pages 36-40.
Smalltalk uses classes to describe the common properties of related objects.
Unfortunately, the use of classes and metaclasses is the source of a number
of complications. This paper discusses prototypes as an alternative to
classes and metaclasses. In a prototype-based language, copying rather than
instantiation is the mechanism provided to the user for making new objects.
Inheritance constraints are proposed as a way of representing object
hierarchies and supporting the automatic updating of related objects when
edits are made.
Full paper: compressed
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