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What is all  the fuss about Objects & Object  Oriented  technology ?  Is it hype or it has a substantial existence ? Well , the truth  is that it combines both the facts. Object – oriented technology  does , infact , provide many benefits to software developers  &  their products. However , historically  a lot of  hype  has surrounded this technology, causing confusion in both managers  &  programmers alike. Many companies  fell victim  to this hardship (or took  advantage of it ) and claimed that their software products were Object-Oriented when, in fact , they were not. These false claims  confused  customers, causing  widespread misinformation  and  mistrust  of Object - Oriented  technology.                                                                        However , inspite overuse &  misuse  of  the term Object-Oriented the computer industry is now beginning to overcome the hype. This article slashes through the hype & explains the key concepts behind Object Oriented  programming , design , & development.                 

What  is an  object?                                                                      An  object  is a  software pool of  variables  &  related  methods . Software  objects  are  used to model  real -world  objects  you find  in everyday  life.                                                                          

What  are  messages ?                                                         Software  objects  interact  &  communicate  with each other with  the aid of  messages.

What  are  classes ?                                                                     A class is  a blueprint or  prototype  that defines the  variables  and the  methods common to all the objects  of a  certain kind.

What  is  inheritance?                                                                  A  class  inherits  state  &  behavior  from  its  super class. Inheritance  provides  a  powerful  and  natural mechanism  for  organizing  and structuring  software  programmers.


As  the name object –oriented  implies  , objects  are key to understanding  object-oriented  technology. Software  object  has  a state &  behavior. The  state is maintained  as data in its  variables. Behavior  is  implemented  as code in its object  methods.

The variables  and  methods  are formally known as instance  variables  and  instance methods to distinguish them from class variables  &  class methods.

OOP creates  software  blueprints  ‘ classes’ that specify all characteristics  possessed by the objects of that class. You can reuse this code everytime you  want  to  create  a similar  object .                                                                               ENCAPSULATION

Packaging  an  object’s  variables  within  the  protective  custody of its  methods  is  called encapsulation . Typically  , encapsulation  is used  to hide  unimportant  implementation  details  from  other objects.  In  software  programs ,implementation of a class is insignificant, you  just  need to know what methods to invoke. Thus the implementation details  can  change  at   anytime  without  affecting  other  parts  of the  program .


·        Modularity  :  The  source  code  for  an  object  can be  written  &  maintained  independently  of the source  code  for  other  objects.

·        Information  hiding :  An  object  has  a  public  interface  that  other objects  can use to communicate.

      But the object  can maintain  private  information  &  methods    that  can  be changed  at  anytime  without  affecting  other objects depending  on it.

                                                                                           MESSAGES ?

Software objects interact & communicate with each other by sending messages to each other . Sometimes the receiving object needs more information so that it knows exactly what to do ? The information is passed with the message as parameters.
Three components comprise a message :
    1. the object to which the message is to addressed.
    2. the name of the method to perform .
    3. any parameters needed by the method.


Generally speaking objects are defined in terms of classes. Object-Oriented systems take thus a step further and allow classes to be defined in terms of other classes.
E.g. : mountain bikes, racing bikes etc. are all subclasses of the bicycle class. Similarly , bicycle class is the super class of mountain bike , racing bikes.
                                                                                                    Each subclass inherits straight from the super class. Also , each subclass inherits methods from the super class.
Subclass can also override inherited methods & provide specialized implementation for these methods.
E.g. : If you have a mountain bike with an extra set of gears , you would override the 'change gears' method so that the rider could actually use those new gears.
Method & variables are inherited down through the levels.
                                                                                             BENEFITS  OF INHERITANCE
Subclasses provide specialized behaviors from the basis of common elements provided by the super class. Through the use of inheritance, programmers can reuse the code in the super class a number of times.

Programmers can implement super class called abstract classes that defines ‘generic’ behaviors. The abstract super class defines and may partially implement the behavior but much of the class is undefined & unimplemented . Other programmers fill in the details with specialized subclasses. Thus OOPS holds a prosperous future in the days to come. It has the key to successful programming & its implementation.                    



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