Inheritance and Reusability


Authors: Robert Biddle, Ewan Tempero
Source: GZipped PostScript (69kb); Adobe PDF (282kb)

Object-oriented programming has been widely acclaimed as the technology that will support the creation of reusable software, particularly because of the ``inheritance'' facility. However, the limited practical impact has not justified the acclaim. We believe this lack of success is due not any particular shortcoming in inheritance, but to widespread misunderstanding of the way the technology supports reusability. In this paper, we explore the connection between inheritance and reusability. We show that inheritance does support reusability, but does so in ways that are not well understood.

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