Research is at the center of metaobject's activities. Provided here are references to research that has been fundamental to the technologies we provide, as well as some contributions of our own.
Virtually all of the technologies and products depend in some part on metaprogramming, programs that can examine and alter other programs or themselves in a well defined fashion. In fact, the name of the company was inspired by the magnificient book The Art of Metaobject Protocol by Gregor Kiczales of Xerox PARC.
Many of our technologies are inspired by ideas from the just emerging academic discipline of software architecture. Apart from fundamental insights into the nature of software components and their connectors, Flexible Packaging shows how the packaging of a component can be just as important as the functionality it provides, a point well known in the consumer goods industries.
Higher Order Messaging
HOM is a mechanism for encapsulating control structurs and other programming patterns. It is similar to blocks in Smalltalk and higher order functions in functional languages.
An implementation is provided as part of MPWFoundation which can be downloaded for free from this site.
A paper describing HOM was presented at the Dynamic Languages Symposium colocated with OOPSLA 2005.
Applying the Pipes and Filters architectural style, popularized by the UNIX operating system, to streams of objects instead of bytes yields powerful synergies similar to those observed by Philippe Mougin for the combination of OOP with array programming.
Whereas the dynamic dispatch inherent in OO largely obviates the need for concurrency, the Pipes and Filters style provides perfect flexible packaging for objects. Paper forthcoming.
An amazing open source Smalltalk by the original inventors of the Smalltalk language, including but not limited to Alan Kay, Dan Ingalls and Ted Kaehler, Squeak continues to be inspiration and motivation to create a better computing future, because "the computer revolution hasn't happened yet" (Alan Kay).
Our modest contributions include the Squeak port to Mac OS X using Cocoa APIs ( CocoaSqueak , now at cersion 3.2) as well as the Postscript printing code that's been included in the main image.
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