Its head is usually at the bottom

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MOP.

Last seen on: NY Times Crossword 12 Jul 19, Friday

Random information on the term “MOP”:

In computer science, a metaobject is an object that manipulates, creates, describes, or implements objects (including itself). The object that the metaobject pertains to is called the base object. Some information that a metaobject might define includes the base object’s type, interface, class, methods, attributes, parse tree, etc. Metaobjects are examples of the computer science concept of reflection, where a system has access (usually at run time) to its own internal structure. Reflection enables a system to essentially rewrite itself on the fly, to alter its own implementation as it executes.


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A metaobject protocol (MOP) provides the vocabulary (protocol) to access and manipulate the structure and behaviour of systems of objects. Typical functions of a metaobject protocol include:

Metaobject protocol is contrary to Bertrand Meyer’s open/closed principle, which holds that software object systems should be open for extension but closed for modification. This principle effectively draws a distinction between extending an object by adding to it, and modifying an object by redefining it, proposing that the former is a desirable quality (“objects should be extensible to meet the requirements of future use cases”), while the latter is undesirable (“objects should provide a stable interface not subject to summary revision”). Metaobject protocol, by contrast, transparently exposes the internal composition of objects and the entire object system in terms of the system itself. In practice, this means that programmers may use objects to redefine themselves, possibly in quite complex ways.

MOP on Wikipedia