Greetings mathNEWS readers! That's right! I'm baaaack! For those of you that were on campus last term and thought you were going to get rid of me, tough luck. For those of you that are new this term, I'm likely your CS 123/133 tutor. That's right, the same guy that marks your assignments also writes for mathNEWS! Crazy insanity! Just think of what other awesome powers I have!
What better to write about for all you newbie CSers than the beta version of the Becker libraries. Because, I was there in The Beginning, when Byron looked upon an empty .java file and began to shape the world. (Note: I wasn't there. But I did use the OLD textbook in which every fifth section is "to be written.")
For you see, little frosh, the noble Robot was once far more powerful than the diminutive puny Thing pusher you now work with. Yes, back in the day, there was one Robot, named Karel, what was God to other Java classes. He had instances everywhere feeding him knowledge to the point where it seemed he was omniscient. He wielded the power to polymorph a Thing at will. Walls could never contain him. He was in every City ever created. Karel was truly the ruler of Java.
However, some of the other Robot classes became jealous of His power. So a brilliant Object named Thing hatched a diabolical plan. One night, when Karel was sleeping, Thing snuck into his private home. There, he slipped himself quietly into Karel's backpack, where no Object ever dared go and where Karel would never place them. Inside, Thing absorbed Karel's power, and used its own knowledge to mutate into a power much greater than before. There he sat, through versions 0.1 through 0.9, waiting for his moment.
Then, one day, as karel was inspecting his land and making sure that all was still good, and the other puny classes were trembling in fear, Thing chose his moment. He absorbed all of Karel's classes, bursting forth from Karel's backpack and destroying him in a moment. The other objects sat in awe, at this class that had destroyed their God, and he bellowed forth at the masses, "I AM RobotSE, TREMBLE IN FEAR AT THE DAWN OF MY DOMINION!" Within three days, the servants of RobotSE defeated the underlings of Robot with their ability to turnRight and pickUpAllThings.
Then, Byron realized that RobotSE had become too powerful, and deprecated its god() method. And thus, the Becker library came to order and equality.
There were many other methods deprecated in that Great Sundering. Some of them are present here.
So yes, gentle frosh, the Robot that you instantiate today is a far cry from the one I knew and worshipped, and different still from the ethereal bovine Robots that would start up a tornado when it wasn't whining about being tired. Be thankful.