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Chapter36 - 36 An object-oriented environment L ate into...

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36 An object-oriented environment L ate into Beethoven’s Choral Symphony, a baritone breaks the stream of astounding but until then purely instrumental sounds to awake us to something even grander: O my friends! No more of these tunes! Let us strike up instead Some more pleasant and friendly songs. After reviewing in the preceding chapters some of the common approaches to O-O development, we should similarly end with a perhaps more modern and comprehensive approach (with no intended disparagement of the others; after all the Ninth’s first three movements, before it goes vocal, already were pretty decent stuff.) This chapter presents an environment (ISE’s) that relies on the principles developed in the rest of this book, and makes them available concretely to O-O software developers. A complete diagram of the environment appears later in this chapter; some of the principal components are included for trial purposes in the CD-ROM attached to this book. The purpose of this presentation is to put the final touch to our study of object technology by showing how environment support can make the concepts convenient to use in practice. A caveat: nothing in this discussion suggests that the environment discussed below is perfect (in fact, it is still evolving). It is only one example of a modern O-O environment; others — such as Borland’s Delphi to name just one — have met wide and deserved success. But we need to explore one environment in some depth to understand the connection between the method’s principles and their day-to-day application by a developer sitting at a terminal. Many of the concepts will, I hope, be useful to readers using other tools. 36.1 COMPONENTS The environment combines the following elements: An underlying method : the object-oriented method, as described in this book. • A language , the notation presented in this book, for analysis, design and implementation. • A set of tools for exploiting the method and the language: compiling, browsing, documenting, designing. Libraries of reusable software components. The next sections sketch these various elements, except for the first which, of course, has been the subject of the rest of this book. The diagram is on page 1149 .
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AN OBJECT-ORIENTED ENVIRONMENT § 36.2 1144 36.2 THE LANGUAGE Th e language is the notation that we have devised in part C and applied throughout the book. We have essentially seen all of it; the only exceptions are a few technical details such as how to represent special characters. Evolution The first implementation of the language dates back to late 1986. Only one significant revision has occurred since then (in 1990); it did not change any fundamental concepts but simplified the expression of some of them. Since then there has been a continuous attempt at clarification, simplification and cleanup, affecting only details, and bringing two recent extensions: the concurrency mechanism of chapter 30 (concretely, the addition of a single keyword, separate ) and the Precursor construct to facilitate redefinition. The stability of the language, a rare phenomenon in this field, has been a major benefit to users.
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