Copyright © 1999, 2002 by Michael J. Roberts. Preliminary version 15 March 1999.
The T3 VM uses metaclass identifiers to associate metaclass types with their implementations. A T3 application stores the identifiers of the metaclasses it uses in its image file; the VM uses these identifiers to allow the application to call code in the metaclasses. Refer to the machine model documentation for details of this mechanism.
Metaclass identifiers are universally unique. A given metaclass ID string always refers to the same metaclass type, for all VM implementations and for all applications. This universal identification mechanism ensures that an application and VM implementation can agree on the exact meaning of a metaclass type. To ensure universal uniqueness, we main a central registry of defined metaclasses and their identifiers.
The defined metaclass identifiers are shown below. Metaclass identifier strings use only 7-bit ASCII characters, and may be from 1 to 255 characters in length. By convention, we avoid spaces (using a hyphen instead for each word break), and use lower-case letters; however, future identifiers will not necessarily be restricted to this subset, so implementations should be prepared to accept any 7-bit ASCII characters from code points 32 to 126 inclusive.
|weak-ref-object||Weak Reference Object|
|weak-ref-list||Weak Reference List|
|weak-ref-array||Weak Reference Array|
Implementation Developers: Anyone who needs to add new metaclasses
in the course of adapting a T3 VM
implementation to a new application domain should contact the T3 VM
specification's maintainer to register the new metaclasses and obtain
identifiers. This will ensure that the new metaclasses will coexist
with others, which will allow the new system to interoperate with
existing compilers and other tools.