Date: Oct 16, 2012 11:24 PM
Author: kirby urner
Subject: Re: In favor of teaching "dot notation"

On Tue, Oct 16, 2012 at 4:53 PM, Joe Niederberger
<> wrote:
> Kirby says:
>>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.

> Oh I'm sure one can imagine they are tidy as can be especially with trivial problems. My real point in responding at all was to put in a plug for a classic book on the topic that casts doubt on such imaginings.
> Joe N

Actually "dot notation" is not easily Googled as such.

Best to search on OOP + "dot notation" or you'll get electron dot
notation, Newton's dots for fluxions, other meanings of "dot

Russell and Whitehead had a "dot notation" from Principia Mathematica.
The term is freighted (overloaded) with meanings.

What's at issue is not the shortcomings of modeling but various forms
of literacy and whether we should share them or not.

Reading music, even just a little, is an eye opener. When you see a
piece written for an entire orchestra, you can somewhat appreciate how
all these instruments play in parallel, reading from these several
scores. Learning to read music helps learning to read other

In chemistry (pre-college) students get used to one and two-letter
codes for elements (atoms), then see them structured in compounds
(molecules) with angular bonds. More complicated visualizations go
with a notation. Lexical and graphical are connected.

"Dot notation" is used in workaday language in a mix with standard
mathematics functions, trig and so on. We're talking fluency here,
familiarity with cultural lingo, like traffic signs.

Literacy in STEM requires some familiarity with OOP dot notation (ala
computer science) in the same way it requires familiarity with
electron dot notation (ala chemistry).

Do models sometimes break or are they sometimes bogus to begin with? Sure.

Not all music is equally great either.

Here's link to William Kent's web site and a page about his book:

Lots of interesting musings and speculations, but I see nothing there
to dissuade us from sharing more widely and effectively what 21st
century math notations include (thinking of computer languages as math
notations, ala Mathematica).

Other links: