Can Ruby do the Objective-C/Cocoa style alloc/init pattern?

In Objective-C/Cocoa objects normally come to life in the following
way:

instance = [[Class alloc] init];

The “Class” is sent an “alloc” message (memory is allocated and a new
instance is actually created) and then the new instance is sent an
“init” message (allowing the object to prepare itself for use).

This pattern allows you do some cool dynamic things. For example, in
your “init” method you can actually return a different object than the
one that was allocated. This is pretty cool because it means you can
return objects of different classes depending on the parameters that
are passed to your “init” method.

Is there any way to do something similar in Ruby? Sending “new” to a
class in Ruby is kind of like doing an “alloc” in Objective-C/Cocoa,
and the Ruby “initialize” method is similar to the Objective-C/Cocoa
“init” method; but unlike Objective-C/Cocoa it really doesn’t matter
what you return from your “initialize” method so there doesn’t seem to
be any way to return an object of a different class.

I can think of ways to fake this pattern but I am not sure if they’re
the best idea. For example, I could add a new class method (could even
call it “alloc” if I wanted) and a new instance method “init” and
basically fake the Cocoa/Objective-C behaviour; but I don’t want to
deform Ruby until it looks like Objective-C, I’d rather find a means of
implementing this pattern the “Ruby Way”.

What do the experienced Rubyists have to say?

Cheers,
Greg

Alle 10:50, mercoledì 24 gennaio 2007, Greg H. ha scritto:

your “init” method you can actually return a different object than the

Greg
I’m not an experienced rubyst, but I think you need to overload new, not
initialize:

class A
def initialize
puts “initialize for class A”
end
end

class B
def initialize arg
puts “initialize for class B. arg is #{arg}”
end
end

class C
def initialize
puts “initialize for class C”
end
end

class D
def self.new cls, *args
const_get(cls).new *args
end
end

a=D.new ‘A’
=> initialize for class A
b=D.new ‘B’, 1
=> initialize for class A
c=D.new ‘C’
=> initialize for class A

puts a.class
=> A
puts b.class
=> B
puts c.class
=> C

At any rate, I’m not sure this is the best way, at least if class D
should
never be instantiated. In this case, I’d go with a module:

module Mod

class A
end

class B
end

class C
end

def Mod.create cls, *args
const_get(cls).new *args
end

end

puts Mod.create(‘A’).class
=>A

Stefano

On Jan 24, 2007, at 01:50, Greg H. wrote:

In Objective-C/Cocoa objects normally come to life in the following
way:

instance = [[Class alloc] init];

The “Class” is sent an “alloc” message (memory is allocated and a new
instance is actually created) and then the new instance is sent an
“init” message (allowing the object to prepare itself for use).

new is written like:

class Object
def self.new(*args, &block)
obj = allocate
obj.send(:initialize, *args, &block) # initialize is private
obj
end
end


Eric H. - [email protected] - http://blog.segment7.net

I LIT YOUR GEM ON FIRE!

Thankyou to everybody who participated in this thread. I think you’ve
covered all the bases quite nicely.

Thanks,
Greg

On Jan 24, 2007, at 2:07 PM, Eric H. wrote:

obj.send(:initialize, *args, &block) # initialize is private
obj

end
end

A less drastic approach than overriding new in the class is to simply
write your own specialized constructor, which can itself call new,
allocate, or #initialize, in whatever combination is needed.

class A
def self.my_constructor(*a, &b)
# whatever but good idea to ensure that
# an instance of A is returned.
end
end
a = A.my_constructor

I think that overriding A#new in such a way that it returns something
other than an instance of A should be avoided. The general principle
is that a class should be a factory for its own instances. If you want
a more general factory pattern, I’d use a module method that delegated
construction to an appropriate class:

class A;end
class B;end
module Factory
def self.build(a)
case a
when ‘A’ then A.new
when ‘B’ then B.new
else raise ArgumentError, “‘A’ or ‘B’ expected”
end
end
end

Factory.build ‘A’ # instance of A
Factory.build ‘B’ # instance of B
Factory.build ‘C’ # ArgumentError

Gary W.

This forum is not affiliated to the Ruby language, Ruby on Rails framework, nor any Ruby applications discussed here.

| Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Remote Ruby Jobs