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Yes, but illusions that make parts of a language that are hard to follow,
easier to follow and to use, are not really illusions, they do add alot of
value. They may be an illusion above the internals of how something works,
but they make the language as a whole easier to use. A good example, C++
overloading schemes. In C++, for overloaded methods to work, they have to be
decorated in their symbols. We don't actually have to do the decoration
ourselves, because that would be difficult and hard to follow. Instead, we
program in a more natural way (in the context of C++ at least), and the
compiler does the decoration for us behind the scenes.

The same thing applies here to unified methods. Sure, its just a face lift
of the current tag method system, but as you stated yourself, the current
tag method system is spotty and hard to follow. Unified methods gives the
tag method system a more consistant and easy to follow interface. If that is
the type of "illusion" you are speaking of, I see no problem with them.


----- Original Message -----
From: "John Belmonte" <>
To: "Multiple recipients of list" <>
Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2001 10:26 AM
Subject: Re: unified methods

> Jay Carlson wrote:
> > Look, I haven't made up my mind yet about unified methods.  They
> > offer a lot of nice features that seem useful in day-to-day
> > programming.  But it's a significant enough change that I need to
> > think about it, a lot---because it *is* an interesting and thoughtful
> > proposal.
> Actually unified methods doesn't offer many features at all.  It's just
> taking Lua's internal tag method system an exposing it as tables (this is
> why Edgar was shocked by your comment about everything-as-tables).  Lua's
> tag method interface is spotty and hard to follow, so unified methods just
> make you think you're getting a whole lot more.  It's an illusion.
> -John