Generalizers: New Metaobjects for Generalized Dispatch
Rhodes, Christophe; Moringen, Jan and Lichteblau, David. 2014. 'Generalizers: New Metaobjects for Generalized Dispatch'. In: 7th European Lisp Symposium. Paris, France 5 - 6 May 2014. [Conference or Workshop Item] (Submitted)
Abstract or Description
This paper introduces a new metaobject, the generalizer, which complements the existing specializer metaobject. With the help of examples, we show that this metaobject allows for the efficient implementation of complex non-class-based dispatch within the framework of existing metaobject protocols. We present our modifications to the generic function invocation protocol from the Art of the Metaobject Protocol; in combination with previous work, this produces a fully-functional extension of the existing mechanism for method selection and combination, including support for method combination completely independent from method selection. We discuss our implementation, within the SBCL implementation of Common Lisp, and in that context compare the performance of the new protocol with the standard one, demonstrating that the new protocol can be tolerably efficient.