To interface or not to interface

Steven Schveighoffer schveiguy at
Mon May 24 14:26:16 PDT 2010

On Mon, 24 May 2010 17:11:49 -0400, Walter Bright  
<newshound1 at> wrote:

> Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
>> It's a logical conclusion.  You provide a map-type collection, call it  
>> a HashMap.  Then, a UI designer wants to abstract his specific Map-like  
>> container that exposes his elements, so you provide him a Map  
>> interface.  But HashMap implements all the required functions to be  
>> able to implement the Map interface, so you slap Map on the back of the  
>> class definition, and presto!  It implements the map interface.   
>> Where's the extra complexity?
> The extra complexity is in the container supporting very different ways  
> to do the same thing.

I don't see this being "very different":

coll.add(coll2); // uses coll2 as interface.
coll.add(coll2[0..5]); // uses coll2 slice as a range.
coll.add(arr); // adds an array.

>> I don't see how that's a bad thing.
> If the user wants an interface, he can add one on to the front of the  
> collection. It doesn't need to be in the collection itself.

We're going in circles here.  I feel like pointing back to my previous  
post with the wrapping example...

All an interface does is give an abstract representation of functions that  
are *already there*.  Removing the interface does not remove the functions  
that implemented the interface.

> The "bad" thing is the component integrating in capability that is  
> easily done as an add-on.
> This reminds me of a fellow I worked with years ago who would provide  
> both a free-function interface and a class interface to each of his  
> components. It was completely redundant to do both, and added pages of  
> complexity and documentation.

This is completely different, I'm tacking on one small piece of  
declaration and the class becomes an interface.  I'm not reimplementing or  
wrapping anything.  Surely you can see that.

In a related story, I *did* have to do something like this when someone  
wanted a Java interface to some C++ code we had.  In order to do this, we  
had to declare extern "C" functions that Java could interface via JNI.


More information about the Digitalmars-d mailing list