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- Subject: Re: back to basics: calling a method with arguments
- From: Doug Rogers <rogers@...>
- Date: Mon, 05 Jan 2009 17:11:58 -0500
Matthew Metnetsky wrote:
How does lua internally know that
the first argument might be the scope of the method (like python's self
argument) or not?
At the byte code level (at run time), it doesn't. It has no clue at all.
It is all determined at compile/interpret time.
For the call side, when the source code
is compiled into byte codes, it is transformed to be:
object.method(object, 7, 9)
The compiler sees the ':' in the original and performs the
transformation (or behaves in a way that is as if the transformation
That is, the string 'method' is used as a key to index table (or
userdatum) 'object'. The result will be called as a function and the
table/userdatum 'object' is passed as the first argument, followed by 7
When the method definition is compiled:
function object:method(arg1, arg2)
self.count = self.count + 1
self.value = arg1 + arg2
the compiler knows, because of the ':' and because it is in a function
definition, that a parameter whose name is self must be inserted before
the parameters arg1 and arg2. So any references to self inside the
definition are to this automatically created first parameter.
Note that if you were to use '.' instead of ':' in the method definition
- by mistake, say - then any references to self would be to a global
variable (or possibly a local in an outer scope) and not to the expected
hidden first parameter.
As described in the manual, this is simply syntactic sugar to make a
system that is not inherently object-oriented look like it is.