[development] Time for a new chapter of an endless debate

Darrel O'Pry dopry at thing.net
Mon Jul 3 02:22:14 UTC 2006

On Mon, 2006-07-03 at 11:05 +1000, Gordon Heydon wrote:
> Hi,
> > 
> > I'm down on consistencies sake. I'm also into the flexability of arrays.
> > Our occasional use of objects don't allow us to do anything useful with
> > them. Where we do have objects, they don't have any methods. So whats
> > the point of keeping them around?
> > 
> There are a couple of reasons why we do not change.
> 1. Objects are easier to work with than arrays, but then again, it is 6 
> of 1, half a dozen of the other.

Not really. There are more functions for manipulating arrays than
objects. The functional design of drupal makes methods useless. No
inheritance, no private variables(no need for them without methods), 
basically all the cool stuff that makes OO design worth while isn't
used, and can't be without a ground up rewrite of drupal as an OO
application. How are they easier -> vs. [' '] come on that's an
aesthetic argument.
  You want to say easier I have at least 10 hours in debugging file api
errors that were caused by casting issues where you get arrays from
FormAPI, but objects are used for files. See the various casts in

> 2. What is changing going to get us? We would spend the next 6 months 
> moving all the code so that we use arrays over objects, and we will be 
> no further ahead. There is no gain or loss.

+1 more consistent behavior between php4 and php5

creating int arrays is an order of magnitude faster than creating
objects.  see: http://byster.net/?page_id=36#a2

May not work in our case, but I would definitely like to see real
benchmarks of array vs object performance for assigns, creation, passing
to a function  by reference and as a copy then being returned. memory
usage and execution time.

$node gets around. I'd like to know that it is in the proper vehicle.

as for effort. I heard Karoly volunteering to do regexes to make the job
easier, I've already got $file ready to live as an array, but have been
holding off on it since I've been focused on my own filesystem.module

> 3. I remember reading somewhere long ago. Dries likes them over arrays.

I like them, too. I really like them when I can use the things that make
them cool. Private vars/protected data space and Inheritance are two
biggies for me. plus the whole oo design paradigm which to me is about
reusable packaging.

> This is like saying nodes are crap, and we should change them to the 
> next greatest XYZ.

No I don't really think so. Nodes are awesome and people can justify it.
I think we can base our work and decisions in sound technical judgment
and experimentation...

One of the things I like about drupal being procedural is we can break
the object orientedness as needed. I don't like the way we use objects,
because in nearly every case I've seen them, they aren't the right tool
for the job there is nothing gained by using an object instead of an

I think a technical reason for keeping objects instead of arrays would
be nice to hear. I understand the social resistance. I mean it will
result in real work site maintainers have to do, and there will be code
some developers are going to have to write. Something will break. 

I think if there is some significant advantage either in performance or
memory then its something we should do. Or at least argue about for a

I'm going to go hide in the corner and stop trolling now.

*** dopry ducks.

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