Explaining Inheritance: A Code Reusability Perspective


Authors: Robert Biddle, Ewan Tempero
Source: GZipped PostScript (55kb); Adobe PDF (236kb)

Programmers new to the object-oriented paradigm often have difficulty learning how to use inheritance properly. In this paper we introduce an approach to explaining inheritance that is based on understanding the nature of reusability. We show how the important aspect of inheritance is interface conformance , and explain the role this plays in supporting reusability. We then outline a method for determining when and how to use both single inheritance and multiple inheritance, and discuss the implications of our approach.

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