Single Inheritance OO implementation history

Christian Fabre <>
12 Feb 1998 13:48:22 -0500

          From comp.compilers

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Single Inheritance OO implementation history (Christian Fabre) (1998-02-12)
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From: Christian Fabre <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 12 Feb 1998 13:48:22 -0500
Organization: The Open Group Research Institute (was OSF-RI)
Keywords: OOP, question, history, comment

Hi Gurus,

I'm looking for an historical reference about Single Inheritance OO
languages implementation. I'm not discussing here in the qualifiers of
fields and methods (private, protected, virtuals etc), but only in
implementation strategies.

We all know this scheme where objects layout is defined such that an
heir just add its fields after its parent's fields, recursively.

For methods, each class has a table of pointers to the methods' code,
the ancestors' methods are assigned the lower indexes in the table,
and the new methods introduced get the first one avalaible.
Redefinition of a parent's method meaning reusing the same index as
the redefined method but changing the pointed method.

All right. I have to assert that all this is well known and is public
knowledge, thus my question is this: who has described this technique
for the first time in a paper and when? Or which "classical" or
"authoritative" book can you think of -the older the better-, that has
a description of this implementation strategy?

I have looked in the "colored" books on SmallTalk, but as far as I
have understood, the representation of method tables, at least, has
nothing to do with this scheme.

Thanks in advance for your time,

Christian Fabre.

                  Christian Fabre (TOG-RI was OSF-RI)
The Open Group Research Institute Net:
              2 avenue de Vignate Tel: +33 4
            38610 Gieres - France Fax: +33 4
[I'd look in the HOPL '78 proceedings. I'd look it up myself but my old
SIGPLANs are still in boxes. -John]

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