Nomenclature

Depending on your Object-oriented Programming background (or lack of it), you may find Logtalk nomenclature either familiar or at odds with the terms used in other languages. In addition, being a superset of Prolog, terms such as predicate and method are often used interchangeably. Logtalk inherits most of its nomenclature from Smalltalk, arguably (and somehow sadly) not the most popular OOP language nowadays. In this section, we map nomenclatures from popular OOP languages such as C++ and Java to the Logtalk nomenclature.

C++ nomenclature

There are several C++ glossaries available on the Internet. The list that follows relates the most commonly used C++ terms with their Logtalk equivalents.

abstract class
Logtalk uses an operational definition of abstract class: any class that does not inherit a method for creating new instances can be considered an abstract class. Moreover, Logtalk supports interfaces/protocols, which are often a better way to provide the functionality of C++ abstract classes.
base class
Logtalk uses the term superclass with the same meaning.
data member
Logtalk uses predicates for representing both behavior and data.
constructor function
There are no special methods for creating new objects in Logtalk. Instead, Logtalk provides a built-in predicate, create_object/4, which can be used as a building block to define more sophisticated object creation predicates.
derived class
Logtalk uses the term subclass with the same meaning.
destructor function
There are no special methods for deleting new objects in Logtalk. Instead, Logtalk provides a built-in predicate, abolish_object/1, which is often used to define more sophisticated object deletion predicates.
friend function
Not supported in Logtalk. Nevertheless, see the User Manual section on meta-predicates.
instance
In Logtalk, an instance can be either created dynamically at runtime or defined statically in a source file in the same way as classes.
member
Logtalk uses the term predicate.
member function
Logtalk uses predicates for representing both behavior and data.
namespace
Logtalk does not support multiple identifier namespaces. All Logtalk entity identifiers share the same namespace (Logtalk entities are objects, categories, and protocols).
nested class
Logtalk does not support nested classes.
template
Logtalk supports parametric objects, which allows you to get the similar functionality of templates at runtime.
this
Logtalk uses the built-in context method self/1 for retrieving the current instance. Logtalk also provides a this/1 method but for returning the class containing the method being executed. Why the name clashes? Well, the notion of self was inherited from Smalltalk, which predates C++.
virtual member function
There is no virtual keyword in Logtalk. Any inherited or imported predicate can be redefined (either overridden or specialized). Logtalk can use static binding or dynamic binding for locating both method declarations and method definitions. Moreover, methods that are declared but not defined simply fail when called (as per closed-world assumption).

Java nomenclature

There are several Java glossaries available on the Internet. The list that follows relates the most commonly used Java terms with their Logtalk equivalents.

abstract class
Logtalk uses an operational definition of abstract class: any class that does not inherit a method for creating new instances is an abstract class. I.e. there is no abstract keyword in Logtalk.
abstract method
In Logtalk, you may simply declare a method (predicate) in a class without defining it, leaving its definition to some descendant subclass.
assertion
There is no assertion keyword in Logtalk. Assertions are supported using Logtalk compilation hooks and developer tools.
extends
There is no extends keyword in Logtalk. Class inheritance is indicated using specialization relations. Moreover, the extends relation is used in Logtalk to indicate protocol, category, or prototype extension.
interface
Logtalk uses the term protocol with the same meaning.
callback method
Logtalk supports event-driven programming, the most common usage context of callback methods.
class method
Class methods may be implemented in Logtalk by using a metaclass for the class and defining the class methods in the metaclass. I.e. class methods are simply instance methods of the class metaclass.
class variable
True class variables may be implemented in Logtalk by using a metaclass for the class and defining the class variables in the class. I.e. class variables are simply instance variables of the class metaclass. Shared instance variables may be implemented by using the built-in database methods (which can be used to implement variable assignment) to access and updated a single occurrence of the variable stored in the class (there is no static keyword in Logtalk).
constructor
There are no special methods for creating new objects in Logtalk. Instead, Logtalk provides a built-in predicate, create_object/4, which is often used to define more sophisticated object creation predicates.
final
There is no final keyword in Logtalk; methods may always be redefined in subclasses (and instances!).
inner class
Inner classes are not supported in Logtalk.
instance
In Logtalk, an instance can be either created dynamically at runtime or defined statically in a source file in the same way as classes.
method
Logtalk uses the term predicate interchangeably with the term method.
method call
Logtalk usually uses the expression message sending for method calls, true to its Smalltalk heritage.
method signature
Logtalk selects the method/predicate to execute in order to answer a method call based only on the method name and number of arguments. Logtalk (and Prolog) are not typed languages in the same sense as Java.
package
There is no concept of packages in Logtalk. All Logtalk entities (objects, protocols, categories) share a single namespace. But Logtalk does support a concept of library that allows grouping of entities whose source files share a common prefix.
reflection
Logtalk features a white box API supporting structural reflection about entity contents, a black box API supporting behavioral reflection about object protocols, and an events API for reasoning about messages exchanged at runtime.
static
There is no static keyword in Logtalk. See the entries on class methods and class variables.
super
Instead of a super keyword, Logtalk provides a super operator and control construct, ^^/1, for calling overridden methods.
synchronized
Logtalk supports multi-threading programming in selected Prolog compilers, including a synchronized/1 predicate directive. Logtalk allows you to synchronize a predicate or a set of predicates using per-predicate or per-predicate-set mutexes.
this
Logtalk uses the built-in context method self/1 for retrieving the current instance. Logtalk also provides a this/1 method but for returning the class containing the predicate clause being executed. Why the name clashes? Well, the notion of self was inherited from Smalltalk, which predates Java.