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Many other objects serve application logic and have no direct real-world parallel — objects that manage authentication, templating, request handling, or any of the other myriad features needed for a working application. The concepts now associated with object-oriented programming, including most of the language for describing it, originated with the Simula programming language , which was used for simulating real world systems. Classes, subclasses, and objects were added to Simula in This was in reference to the extensive use of objects in the language, and their place as the fundamental unit of organization.
The spread of object-oriented programming was relatively slow at first. In the s, the Eiffel programming language was invented, which was fully object-oriented. The inventor of Eiffel, Bertrand Meyer, wrote Object-Oriented Software Construction , which was one of the first books to widely disseminate the concepts of OO programming. In the s and into the s, object-oriented programming really took off. This coincided with a massive explosion in the tech industry generally during that period, and the sudden influx of programmers into large tech companies.
Object-oriented programming is a concept — a way of approaching the problem of designing a computer program. It is not a hard-and-fast set of rules or a specific methodology. Different programming languages approach OOP differently. Some are more or less strict, and some are just different. What follows is a general overview of object-oriented design concepts. See our sister article, Object-Oriented Programming for resources and details that explain how these concepts are implemented in many different languages.
The central guiding principle which informs all the other concepts in object-oriented programming is separation of concerns. This is the idea that logically distinct bundles of data and functionality should be separated into distinct bundles of application code.
This idea is not unique to object-oriented programming. Most programming languages allow for separation of concerns, and most programming paradigms promote it. However, separation of concerns is of special importance to object-oriented programming. Strong separation of concerns is the impetus behind nearly all other OO concepts.
It seems, at first, that the fundamental concept in object-oriented programming is objects. A class defines an object; an object instantiates a class. There are a lot of customers, but they all do the same thing. So there would be a Customer class, in which the programmer defined what a customer is, and how it works.
Then, each individual customer is represented in the system by a customer object. Since class definitions specify all the implementation details, most of the work of developing an object-oriented program involves working with classes, not objects.
Objects also have functions, called methods. These are things that the object is capable of doing, and are also defined within the class. One of the challenges of developing good object-oriented programs is determining how to split up functions among several potential classes.
For example, should a checkout method belong to the Customer or to the Shopping Cart? Understanding that ecommerce needs Products and a project management system needs Projects is pretty easy. But large object-oriented programs have countless classes defining all sorts of abstract bundles of functionality, like object relational mappers, object factories, and controllers just to name three easy-to-understand examples. Navigating these concerns takes practice, of course.
An object-oriented developer can also be aided by an understanding of design patterns, and by a development process that includes modeling. Classes, and a number of other concepts covered here, have become inexorably linked to object-oriented programming. However, according to the computer scientist who coined the term , object-oriented programming is about message passing.
Message passing means that objects communicate with each other by sending messages. This sounds trivial, but it affects how function calls are made.
The message contains a method name and any associated parameters. The called object then has the ability to handle that method call however is needed. This ability for each object to determine its own response to method calls as needed is called dynamic dispatch.
It allows objects to evolve over run time, and respond to messages according to their present state. Message passing can be a little confusing, especially since most languages in use today only implement one particular kind the method call.
Here are a few resources to help you better understand it:. Closely associated with message passing and dynamic dispatch is the concept of encapsulation.
Encapsulation means that code outside of an object cannot directly access its internal data. This is usually done with a method call. However, many experts in OO development encourage programmers to adhere to encapsulation principles by not calling properties directly , even in languages that allow it. There are many benefits to encapsulation. Primarily, it allows any details or side effects to be abstracted away from the point at which the property is called. For example, each time a particular value is read, you might want to check when it was last calculated, and re-calculate it if certain conditions are met.
Being able to add, remove, or change that logic in one place at any time, without affecting any of the other places in the code which make the call, is a benefit of encapsulation. Inheritance and composition are two ways that various classes and their instantiated objects are related to each other. In this example, there might be a Person class which defines all the properties and methods of Persons in general name , birthday. Then a User class would extend the Person class, to add things like a username attribute or login and logout methods.
Like the inheritance hierarchy, the compositional hierarchy can easily be several layers deep. For example: Much of the design work in object-oriented development has to do with mapping out these relationships of inheritance and composition.
The class diagram , which is a part of the Unified Modeling Language is an invaluable tool for visualizing these relationships.
Polymorphism or, more specifically, subtype polymorphism is a concept that naturally comes out of inheritance. Each subclass might implement the method differently, but calling objects do not need to know which of several subtypes they are calling. They can treat all different subtypes of objects as equivalent. Polymorphism is a big subject, and is not without controversy.
Here are a few resources to help wrap your head around it:. For a deep understanding of object-oriented programming, a number of classic and contemporary books on the subject are invaluable, and can hardly be replaced by online tutorials.
For a more practical, and contemporary, understanding of object-oriented programming concepts, try one or more of these online resources:. Not all programming languages support object-oriented programming. Some languages are designed to do nothing but support OOP. Others allow for a variety of approaches to programming. Still others appear to be object-oriented, but implement the concepts of object-orientation in non-standard, incomplete, or just plain unusual ways.
Below is a list of some of the more popular OO-capabable languages, with notes about their approach to Object Orientation, and some resources to help you get into OOP with that language.
The internet is filled with essays that look at language X vs language Y — most of which just scratch the surface. We suggest you check out this more general Programming Language Comparison.
This thoughtful analysis looks at specific details of several popular OO languages, discussing how particular OO concepts are implemented in each. C is not an object-oriented language. However, it is at least possible to write OO code in it:. None of the techniques described in those books and articles are particularly robust or easy to deal with for non-trivia programs. Rather than trying to stretch C to its limits, there are three direct descendants of C which include object-oriented language tools.
NET Framework. Lisp is not essentially Object-Oriented. According to some conventional points of view, Erlang is not an object-oriented language. Principally, Java is an object-oriented programming language.
By establishing a solid foundation in the understanding of object-oriented programming concepts and their applications, the book provides readers with the pre-requisites for writing proper object-oriented programs using Java. Object-Oriented Programming and Java covers the latest in Java technologies and is suitable for undergraduate or postgraduate courses on object-oriented technology, particularly those using Java as a programming language for creating object-oriented programs.
Computer Science Software Engineering. Free Preview. Teaches Java and object-oriented programming in a systematic fundamentals-first approach Includes the latest in Java technology see more benefits.
download eBook. download Softcover. FAQ Policy. About this Textbook Object-Oriented Programming and Java presents two important topics in contemporary software development: Show all. From the reviews of the second edition: