The objects and classes that you define in your program are of intrinsic class TadsObject. Everything that has "object" as its superclass is really a subclass of intrinsic class TadsObject.

For example:

class Item: object;
myObj: object;

Both Item and myObj are of intrinsic class TadsObject.

TadsObject methods

TadsObject is a subclass of the root intrinsic class, Object, so all of the methods that Object defines are inherited by TadsObject instances as well. In addition to the Object methods, TadsObject provides its own methods, described below.


Creates a new object that is an identical copy of this object. The new object will have the same superclasses as the original, and the identical set of properties defined in the original.

No constructor is called in creating the new object, since the object is explicitly initialized by this method to have the exact property values of the original.

The clone is a "shallow" copy of the original, which means that the clone refers to all of the same objects as the original. For example, if a property of the original points to a Vector, the corresponding property of the clone points to the same Vector, not a copy of the Vector.


Creates a new instance of the target object. This method's arguments are passed directly to the constructor, if any, of the new object; this method doesn't make any other use of the arguments. The method creates the object, invokes the new object's constructor, then returns the new object.

This method can be especially useful in static methods defined in base classes that are further subclassed, because it essentially allows a parameterized "new" operator. For example, suppose we had a base class, Coin, which you subclass into several types: GoldCoin, SilverCoin, CopperCoin. For each of these classes, you want to provide a method that creates a new instance of that kind of coin. Using the new operator, you'd have to write a separate method in each subclass:

class Coin: object;
class GoldCoin: Coin
  createCoin() { return new GoldCoin(); }
class SilverCoin: Coin
  createCoin() { return new SilverCoin(); }
class CopperCoin: Coin
  createCoin() { return new CopperCoin(); }

This gets increasingly tedious as we add new subclasses. What we'd really like to do is something like this:

class Coin: object
  createCoin() { return new self(); } // illegal!

This would let all the subclasses inherit this one implementation, which would create the appropriate kind of object depending on the subclass on which the method was invoked. We can't write exactly this code, though, because the new operator doesn't allow a variable like self to be used as its argument.

So, it's createInstance() to the rescue. This method lets us do exactly what we'd like: create an instance of the current class, writing the code only once in the base class. Using createInstance(), we can rewrite the method to get the effect we want:

class Coin: object
  createCoin() { return createInstance(); }


Creates a new instance based on multiple superclasses. This is a static (class-level) method, so you can call it directly on TadsObject. With no arguments, this simply creates a basic TadsObject instance; this is equivalent to the createInstance() method.

The arguments give the superclasses, in "dominance" order. The superclasses appear in the argument list in the same order in which they'd appear in an object definition: the first argument corresponds to the leftmost superclass in an ordinary object definition. Each argument is either a class or a list. If an argument is a list, the first element of the list must be a class, and the remainder of the elements are the arguments to pass to that class's constructor. If an argument is simply a class (not a list), then the constructor for this superclass is not invoked at all.

For example, suppose we had the following class definitions:

class A: object
  construct(a, b) { ... }

class B: object
  construct(a, b, c) { ... }

class C: object
  construct() { ... }

class D: A, B, C
  construct(x, y)
    inherited A(x, y);
    inherited C();


Now, suppose that we had never actually defined class D, but we want to create an instance dynamically as though it class D had been defined. We could obtain this effect like so:

local d = TadsObject.createInstanceOf([A, x, y], B, [C]);

This creates a new instance with superclasses A, B, and C, in that dominance order. During construction of the new object, we will inherit A's constructor, passing (x,y) as arguments, and we'll inherit C's constructor with no arguments. Note that we pass a list containing C alone; this indicates that we do want to call the constructor, since the argument is passed as a list rather than as simply the object C, but that we have no arguments to send to C's constructor. Note also that we don't invoke B's constructor at all, since B is specified without being wrapped in a list.

Note that if constructors are invoked at all, they can only be called in the same order in which they appear in the superclass list.


This works like createInstance(), except that the new instance is transient.


This works like createInstanceOf(), except that the new instance is transient.


Gets a function pointer to one of the object's methods. prop is a property pointer value giving the property of the object to retrieve. If this property contains a method, getMethod() returns a function pointer to the method's code. If the property contains a self-printing string, the return value is an ordinary string value with the text of the printed string. If the property is any other type of data, or is undefined, the result is nil.

Note that a double-quoted string that contains embedded ("interpolated") expressions with << >> is really a function. This means that if you call getMethod() on a property containing a string with embedded expressions, you'll get back a function pointer result rather than a string expression.

When the returned value is a function, it can be called like an ordinary function. You wouldn't normally do this, though, because the call would have a nil value for self, which means that the method would trigger a run-time error if it tried to access any properties or other methods of self. Instead, the main use for the returned function pointer would be to assign the function as a different method of the same object, or as a method of another object, using setMethod().

Note that getMethod() can also return an anonymous function object. Methods originally defined in the source code will always be returned as regular function pointers (of type TypeFuncPtr). An anonymous function will be returned only for a method that was explicitly set to an anonymous functions via setMethod(). In this case, the same anonymous function object that was passed to setMethod() will be returned from getMethod().

(Ordinary methods are also "anonymous" functions in that they're not named. But these aren't what we normally call anonymous function objects, which are the type of object created with the function syntax.)

setMethod(prop, func)

Assigns the function func as a method of the object, using the property prop.

prop is the property pointer to assign. This specifies the property that will be used for the newly assigned method. Any previous method or data value for this property will be replaced with the new function.

func can be:

After calling this method, invoking prop on this object will result in calling the function func as though it had always been a method of the object. self will be set, and the method can use inherited to inherit from this object's class structure.

It's important to note how the naming works. The new method is callable under the name prop - not under the name of the function that was used to create it. For example:

method foo(x) { return x*x; }
obj: object;

  obj.setMethod(&square, foo);
  local x = obj.square(10);

The name of the new method is square, not foo. foo is still just a floating method; the new, full-fledged method is established under the property name, not the function name.

The method relationship created by setMethod() is non-exclusive. You're free to use setMethod() to assign the same function pointer (or other value) as a method of multiple objects at once. The value doesn't lose its regular meaning, either: as we said above, if you supply a function pointer to setMethod(), you can still call the same function as an ordinary function, too.

Note that when you define an ordinary function, the compiler doesn't let you refer to self or any other method context variables (such as targetprop or definingobj) within the function body, since these variables normally aren't valid in a function. This also means that you can't define a function that uses inherited or delegated. There are two ways of dealing with this:

When you use an anonymous function with setMethod(), you should keep in mind that self and the other method context variables are shared with the scope where the function was defined. Consider this example:

obj1: object
       obj2.setMethod(&a, { x: self.prop = x; });
obj2: object
   prop = nil


Here we've set up a new method for obj2, named a. We then invoke the new method. The question is: what's the value of obj2.prop when we're done? At first glance you might think it should be 100, since the newly created method sets self.prop to the argument value, and the new method is part of obj2, ergo we must be setting obj2.prop to 100. But that's not what happens: the value of obj2.prop is nil when we're done.

The reason is the little detail we mentioned about how an anonymous function shares its method context with its lexically enclosing scope. Because the anonymous function was created within the confines of obj1.init, the self in effect at the moment of the function's creation was obj1. And this is the self that the function will use forever, no matter how many times it's invoked. It's in the nature of an anonymous function: it shares everything with its lexically enclosing scope, including self.

In this example, though, that's not the effect we're after. We'd like instead to create a method that assigns a value to the property prop of whatever object we attach the method to. In other words, we want to create a real live method, not a function that's stuck to someone else's method context.

The way to do this is to replace the anonymous function with an anonymous method. An anonymous method isn't stuck to the method context that was in effect when it was created, but instead uses the live context whenever it's called. This is an easy change to make: we just need to use the method syntax to define the anonymous method.

obj2.setMethod(&a, method(x) { self.prop = x; });

With this change, running the program will indeed set obj2.prop to 100.


Sets the object's superclasses to the values in lst, which must be a list (or list-like object) containing objects. The object's superclass list is replaced with the given superclass list. The objects in lst must all be TadsObject objects, with one exception: lst is allowed to be [TadsObject] (that is, a single-element list containing the TadsObject class itself), in which case the object becomes a root TadsObject object.