Inheritance/defaulting of attributes

Andrew Layman andrewl at
Wed Oct 8 02:29:53 BST 1997

I decided to learn about inheritance by talking to people in a number of
different groups at Microsoft, ranging from products to research, from
programming languages to databases to knowledge representation.

I wish I had a good answer for you. I don't.

Instead, I found that for every single behavior of inheritance (a) some
people can give a very reasonable justification for it and (b) other
people can give an equally reasonable justification for why a different
behavior is needed.  

We are seeing that on this list also.  Clearly inheritance is going to
be difficult to work out.

--Andrew Layman
   AndrewL at

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