Thursday, March 26, 2009

Runtime Adaptation

Runtime Adaptation is the ability for an object to increase and grow into another type of object at runtime.

In most Object Oriented languages an object is "born" with a set of abilities. Typically this is done through inheritance or interfaces.

class JackOfAllTrades : IPerson, IHandyMan, IPlumber, IBrainSurgeon, IAutoMechanic

JackOfAllTrades can be used in any method where an IPerson, IHandyMan, IPlumber, IBrainSurgeon, or IAutoMechanic is needed.

At runtime JackOfAllTrades can not become IDentist. JackOfAllTrades can not learn to be a dentist and cannot act in the role of a dentist.

Runtime Adaptation allows JackOfAllTrades to become a full fledged dentist at runtime and retain this ability carrying forward. JackOfAllTrades does not have to use another object that implements IDentist and then have that object do work in his behalf.

Just as JackOfAllTrades wants to increase in ability JackOfAllTrades may want to loose abilities as well and give up plumbing.

The acquisition of new abilities could be considered "Behavior as a Service" and I could vend the IDentist capabilities to your JackOfAllTrades.

Just a small glimpse of the sandbox in which my mind plays.

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