Date: Oct 15, 2012 10:24 PM
Author: kirby urner
Subject: Re: In favor of teaching "dot notation"

On Sat, Oct 13, 2012 at 8:20 AM, Joe Niederberger
<> wrote:
>>The "dot" itself signifies "going within" i.e. has the connotation of "containment". The thing "contains" these properties, these capabilities.
> I think such notation is good for signifying a functional relationship between values: X.a = a(X). Attempts to make it "connote" more than that might contribute to misunderstanding. Is your marriage partner inside you or outside you? Is X.spouse OK or not?

Such wrestling with metaphors is the bread and butter of the object oriented.

X.spouse is an attribute of X, so in that sense "belongs to" X.
Tucking all that belongs to X inside of X is neat and tidy. X.spouse
is a reference, perhaps to some Y, so even with this "belonging to" or
"inside of" relationship, there's a line to "the heap" where all these
objects abide in a kind of "wall" (memory bricks).
(used in my coursework)

Yes, lots of complicated imagery, mechanics, but not off topic.

The key meditation (think of a guided meditation) is "Am a" and "Have
a". "I am a dam" gets me thinking of myself as a hydroelectric and
water controlling barrier, lots of weight, a need to chaperon ships
through locks, also fish through ladders.

What do I have? Generators (turbines), objects in themselves with
their own "exploded diagrams" of sub-objects.

Taking real world, concrete objects like dams, and using the same
notation to define quaternions, vectors, is what makes students
learning this way accelerate way beyond their unlucky peers held back in some
poor dream-bubble, an oxygen-deficient curriculum wherein SQL is never
mentioned, ASCII/Unicode not even in the index.

"Math before STEM" (1900s math, K-16) was a disaster, a teenage
wasteland, immature (I'd say deliberately, like that diet of "fast

> A guy names Steve Kent comprehensively exposed the highly contingent and sometimes ambiguous nature of all data modelling in a classic book "Data and Reality."
> Joe N

"Dot notation" provides some unifying heuristics. It's another glue,
perhaps a superglue.

I'm not talking "panacea" or "be all end all".

The functional programmers already have a bone to pick with the object
oriented, so might fight this spread on other grounds. That's fine.
I'm wearing my helmet (Athenian logos emblazoned thereon) and am
content to continue making headway.

I'm not insisting on the vanquished bowing down. I'm not looking
forward to some "triumph" where I parade my new minions. That'd
strike me as laughably retro.

Just recruiting some future engineers (including social engineers),
welcoming some fresh talent to step out of that Matrix of really *poor*
math education and join me in this more enlightened state (post USA
some might say, but still plenty Disney).


Message was edited by: kirby urner