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Generalized Message Passing in a Virtual Reality Application



David W. Flater


The message passing semantics of an object-oriented programming language is one of the factors that determines how powerful the language is. Whether it is referred to as a method invocation, a dispatching call, an event, a signal, or something else, each object-oriented programming language supports some operation that is similar in effect to message passing. What differs from language to language is the semantics of that message point. These semantics largely determine the degree to which an object-oriented language supports polymorphism, overloading, type checking, and abstraction. Although it is theoretically possible to implement any given application in any computationally complete language, the flexibility of the language that is used will, in practice, have a great influence over the shape of the final product. Those features that are extremely difficult to implement in the language being used are less likely to be implemented. If the project is one where the choice of programming language is not as important as the quality of the final product, such as in a research environment, then it is wise to investigate the alternatives. Virtual reality is one research application that can easily be hampered by the limitations inherent in a programming language. We define the concepts of recipient resolution and action resolution, discuss their application to virtual reality, and suggest an approach for extending Objective C to support them.
Journal Of Object-Oriented Programming
Vol. 9, No. 9


message passing, object-oriented programming, Objective C, virtual reality


Flater, D. (1997), Generalized Message Passing in a Virtual Reality Application, Journal Of Object-Oriented Programming, [online], (Accessed April 23, 2024)
Created February 1, 1997, Updated February 17, 2017