02 March 2006

Relationships as first-class citizens

Here is a link to a research project for having relationships as first-class citizens in Java:

Not a new idea, the article mentions another dating back from 1987:
  • J. Rumbaugh. Relations as semantic constructs in object-oriented development. (OOPSLA 1987)
This is for sure a topic that will make its way to a programming language someday. However, the above article indicates that this is a tough subject and that many of consequences of having relationships as first-class citizens are not yet mastered: inheritance, multiplicities, construction,...

I would bet that adding this kind of functionality via a mixin in Ruby could be a great way of getting the details right, in the manner of what is been done for ActiveRecords in RubyOnRails.

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