The emergence of object-oriented technology: the role of community

Robinson, Hugh and Sharp, Helen (2009). The emergence of object-oriented technology: the role of community. Behaviour & Information Technology, 28(3) pp. 211–222.



Based on an analysis of contemporaneous materials, we present a history of object-oriented technology from the late 1970s, when object orientation was little-known, until the early 1990s, when object-oriented technology was widely accepted across computer science. We identify three phases of emergence: interpretative flexibility; community and dissemination; and pervasiveness. We describe the role of various communities, constituencies, fora and programming languages, and show how the intellectual history of an idea underpinning a technology differs from that technology’s path of adoption.

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