Object-oriented programming (OOP) is a programming paradigm that organizes data and functions into reusable structures called objects. Each object is an instance of a class, which serves as a blueprint defining the properties and behaviors of the object.
OOP offers several advantages over procedural programming, such as modularity, code reusability, and maintainability.
What are Objects?
In OOP, objects are the fundamental building blocks. An object encapsulates both data (attributes or properties) and behavior (methods or functions).
For example, consider a class called “Car.” Each car object created from this class would have attributes like color, make, model, and methods like accelerate(), brake(), etc.
Classes: Blueprint for Objects
A class is a blueprint that defines the structure and behavior of objects. It serves as a template from which individual objects are created.
Classes encapsulate related data and functions into one unit. They provide a way to define common attributes and methods that all objects of that class will share.
Attributes represent the state or properties of an object. They can be variables declared within the class scope.
In our car example, color, make, and model would be attributes of the Car class.
Methods are functions defined within a class that perform specific tasks on objects created from that class. In our car example, accelerate() and brake() would be methods that define how a car can speed up or slow down.
Inheritance: Creating Subclasses
Inheritance is a powerful feature in OOP where one class inherits the properties and methods of another class. The inherited class is called a subclass or derived class, while the original class is called the superclass or base class.
Subclasses can add or modify the behavior of their superclass, promoting code reuse and extensibility.
Polymorphism: Many Forms
Polymorphism allows objects of different classes to be treated as objects of a common superclass. It enables flexibility by providing a single interface to multiple implementations.
For example, a “Vehicle” class could have subclasses like “Car,” “Bike,” and “Truck.” Although they differ in behavior, they can all be treated as vehicles because they share certain characteristics defined in the superclass.
Encapsulation: Data Hiding
Encapsulation is the process of hiding internal implementation details of an object from the outside world. It ensures that only relevant information is accessible from other parts of the program while keeping data integrity intact.
Access modifiers such as public, private, and protected are used to control access to attributes and methods.
Object-oriented programming provides a structured approach to software development by organizing code into reusable objects with encapsulated data and behavior. It promotes modularity, reusability, and maintainability, making it easier to design complex systems and collaborate on large projects.