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Discussion on: Language Features: Best and Worst

validark profile image

A difference between method syntax and calling a member function. Enums that are not numbers or strings (unless you say so), like enum class in C++. If I were making a language I would consider the idea of minimizing keywords by using built-in function calls instead. Just a thought.

awwsmm profile image
Andrew (he/him) Author

Can you give an example of what you don't want to see vs. what you want to see? I'm not sure I understand.

validark profile image

In JavaScript, a function call implicitly passes this depending on the call site. In Lua there is a difference between a method call and a function being called from a namespace. This is accomplished through syntactic sugar.

In Lua:

Object:Move(1) is equivalent to
Object.Move(Object, 1)

This function can be declared like so:

function Object:Move(Amount)

The syntactic sugar puts a self as the first parameter. You could do this yourself as well:

function Object.Move(self, Amount) (you could name self whatever you want this way)

That means method calls can be localized and called later if necessary because self is actually a parameter.
local f = Object.Move
f(Object). You can't do this in JS, but it isn't just that. There isn't a need to implicitly pass this into namespaces.

The other solution could be to wrap localized functions with an implicit this, but that would make each instance of a class have a unique version of each method.

I would recommend under the hood using a data oriented approach. Instances of classes wouldn't hold all their data next to each other, an instance of a class would just be an integer which is the index at which its data can be retrieved from a bunch of arrays that each hold a single member of each instance. This is smarter design because it is much more frequent that at one time you might iterate through a particular property of all instances and with the way CPU caching works you can load up the right array and use just that data, without fetching unnecessary data you aren't using for comparison. Ex:

Names = ["First", "Second"]
IDs = [1, 2]

new Class() // reference to index 0 in each of these arrays

new Class() // reference to index 1 in each of these arrays

(Obviously this example is a simplification)

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awwsmm profile image
Andrew (he/him) Author

Thanks for all the advice! All of these are good points which I'll definitely have to consider when designing my language.

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