On Friday 04 April 2008 13:47:40 John M. Dlugosz wrote:

> But, it is also stated that in derived and trusted classes, and even in
> the class itself, $.a is an accessor call?  As opposed to $!a which is
> the direct access to the attribute.  Is this accessor different from the
> function form used outside the class?

It shouldn't be.

> Why keep the variable syntax? 

Uniform access principle.  See also "Why Java programmers fetishize their 
IDEs, reason #482: autogeneration of metric boat-loads of accessors/mutators 
at just the click of a button."

> I'm getting a picture of 3 forms of access:  Really direct, direct but
> asking the class to access it rather than knowing how storage works, and
> indirect that may involve your own code to do other things besides just
> get/set the attribute.  But I think the middle one can be handled
> invisibly by the compiler -- it's no different from a tied hash.

That really depends on how much external syntax you want to change if you 
change the internal representation of an object.  For me, that's 
approximately none.

-- c

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