[chuck-dev] Questions on class-checking and Objective C-like interfaces

Andrew C. Smith acsmith at willamette.edu
Tue Oct 20 22:34:09 EDT 2009

Chuck Devs,

I brought up something like this a while back on the users list,
regarding general modulation functions, but I'm wondering if it
wouldn't be that tough to implement in a seriously reckless build of
ChucK. In Objective C, you can have something take "(id)" as an
argument, which basically means anything. The compiler leaves it up to
the programmer to get things right, which allows great flexibility
during run-time operation. I was thinking that ChucK could get this by
basically just ALLOWING (not requiring) the option to not check class
methods. This would allow code like:

// begin

fun void modFreq ( UGen a, UGen b ) {
  while (true) {
    if (BoolBus[0]) {
      a.last() + 440 => b.freq;
      64::samp => now;

SinOsc mod => blackhole;
SinOsc car => dac;

spork ~ modFreq( a, b );

day => now;

// end

This code is totally possible in current ChucK versions (replacing
UGen b with SinOsc b, of course) but what happens if you want to
modulate something else, in another class but still with a freq
method? You have to create all new functions, all the time. This isn't
really a huge deal if you have a giant code library, but it's not like
it's fun or anything, and you end up with tons of obscure functions,
maybe public class static functions like "SinMods.freq( a, b )" in
these endless trees (well, not endless--there aren't quite that many
UGens). It seems like this could be possible by disabling the compiler
warnings. Naturally, this could lead to huge disasters, which is why I
feel like it should be made optional (and possibly hard to initialize,
just to protect people from themselves).

Is this possible? I imagine that it wouldn't be that hard to
switch--build another version of ChucK with the specific checking
features turned off, and call it chucknorton or some equally
dangerous-sounding name. Then you just type chucknorton + crazymods.ck
and you've got some universal modulation functions.

Lots of list posts lately, so sorry if these are just totally
off-topic or stressful for some of the (real) devs. Longer recessions
make for better open source software, though.


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