"Method" is a special term in Object-Oriented Programming. Does anyone know when the word began to be used in this particular sense, and in connection with what programming language or other branch of quantitative learning?
It's hard to find a definite answer out there but the first language to refer to things as methods appears to have been Simula though this may well be false or retroactive. Given that functions (from math) and procedures (also from math) show up in programming languages, the best I can figure is that "Method" is short form for "Methodology".
All of these are Subroutines, bits of code making up a computer program. I'd imagine "Method" was chosen because the idea behind OOP style programming is to reuse code as much as possible. Thus, you could have a procedure but a method makes it more clear that it's a new style at work. Honestly, I've been known to call methods functions and I've heard functions called methods.
I have been looking for information on this for decades. My guess so far is that the term came into Simula from the special subfield of numerical computation, where the specific algorithm to implement a function (e.g., an eigenvalue or whatever) is often called a method. This is because you may have various different numerical methods for computing the same mathematical function, with various tradeoffs. In OOP, because of method overriding, you may have the "same" function implemented differently as appropriate for the class--e.g., area would be implemented differently for Circle and Rectangle, which are both Shapes, which have an area. This seems a reasonable extension of the traditional concept of numerical method.
I don't know anything about etymology of this word in OOP history. But I know that it's not deductional (deducable). A better term (a More Deductional Term or MDT) for it could be reaction or act
Programmers with REAL BASIC, VBx and VB.net background are aware of two types of method declarations "FUNCTION" & "SUB". BASIC family of languages allow to declare a function with the "FUNCTION" keyword as well as the "SUB" keyword. The difference between these two is that a "FUNCTION" can or will not return a value where as a "SUB", just executes the code but will not return any value. But with the advent of OO concepts, terms sub and function are started being used interchangeably as methods.
protected by gnat Sep 12 '16 at 15:21
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