[cap-talk] Horton - object/capability abbreviation/meaning
capability at webstart.com
Tue May 29 01:56:53 EDT 2007
At 05:53 PM 5/28/2007, David Wagner wrote:
>Kevin Reid wrote:
> > I've never seen "ocaps" used before.
>Mark Miller wrote:
> > We needed something short for this paper. Several people found
> "objcaps" ugly.
>Jonathan Shapiro wrote:
> > Would "obcaps" work? The 'j' is probably the source of the objection.
>Here were my reactions when I saw these:
>ocap ==> "Oh crap"
Seems a bit obscure to me. Did anybody else have the above reaction?
Certainly when spoken as "Oh cap" there is no such possible confusion.
Even when written getting "Oh crap" out of 'ocap' seems reaching to me.
>obcap ==> "ObCap" (i.e., Obligatory Capability)
I have also noted many instances of "Ob" being used in the
context of an obligation. People even sometimes refer to
"picking up an ob", or "I don't want any obs".
>objcap ==> "object capability"
It does seem to make it less ambiguous - though also makes
it quite difficult to pronounce.
I still prefer "ocap" as being the one letter specifier on
'cap' that you have to know stands for object. Still, it's
easy for me to see how opinions can differ on this one.
If this is a sort of reference that is likely to become more
common then perhaps it deserves a bit more discussion.
Personally I feel that capability and cap should suffice.
While I understand the potential ambiguity with various
other weaker or just different forms of "capability"
(e.g. Unix 'capabilities'), I don't feel that as a
part of the IT community we should give up our ownership
of the "capability" term. Not without a fight anyway.
I don't know of any other sort of IT "capability" (other
than the non-technical generic sense, e.g.:
1. The quality of being capable; ability.
2. A talent or ability that has potential for development or use.
3. The capacity to be used, treated, or developed for a specific
purpose: nuclear capability.
) that has any legs, so I believe we should just stick to our
'capability' guns and keep pushing/selling the general term.
It has the history, the wide references, etc.
The one thing that gives me pause is the positive value of
the association with objects and generally with object
oriented programming. That's really why I haven't pushed
much on this issue previously. Of course that positive
value comes with a bit of baggage. E.g. what does the
"capability" term add in 'object/capability'? Could we
(generally the IT community) focus on object programming
and let the "capability" term fade away?
Perhaps this is an area where others can help me understand
something. I understand what the 'capability' term
means in the OS and network contexts. However, in the
language context how does a 'capability' (an object/capability?)
differ from any other sort of object reference? Is there
some sense in which an object/capability is stricter
or more strongly enforced as an object reference (e.g. in
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