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From Phil Steitz <>
Subject Re: [math] design patterns (was Re: cvs commit: jakarta-commons-sandbox/math/src/java/org/apache/commons/math/stat
Date Thu, 19 Jun 2003 17:53:28 GMT

--- David Graham <> wrote:
> > > Maybe I'm unique, but
> > > sometimes I find that Java (as well as other languages) gets in my way 
> >rather
> > > than letting me solve the problem at hand in a natural way.
> You're not alone in that belief.  I've heard several people comment about 
> how easy it is to code Smalltalk when exploring new solutions.
> > >For example, one
> > > thing I would have liked to see is the ability to invoke methods by the 
> >same
> > > name either via static class methods or via instance methods of objects
> > > (where
> > > appropriate and useful, of course).  I don't have enough experience with 
> >Java
> > > to know if that's possible, though I suspect it would be difficult at 
> >least.
> Static methods are a necessary evil in OO languages and should be avoided 
> when possible.  The entire Java Math class is a perfect example of poor 
> design because it's just a bunch of static methods.  
> It would have been 
> *much* simpler to make numbers objects and allow -1.abs() type semantics.  
> Anyways, my main point is that statics exist in Java to make certain things 
> easier, not to allow the type of thing you describe.

I disagree.  IMHO, in good OO design there is a place for utility classes that
encapsulate operations on objects, apart from the objects themselves. 
Call me a brute, but Math.max(x,y) is more natural syntax to me than x.max(y).
The reason to avoid static methods in Java, IMHO, is that they cannot be
overriden, not that using utility classes in general is "bad design".   To deal
with the language limitation, it is sometimes a good idea to declare what
really are class methods as non-static.

> David
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