Glossary: Inheritance

An OO design builds an application out of a set miniature programs, or objects. Each object has a very clear set of responsibilities and one of the tenets of OO design is that the same job should not be done by two different types (or classes) of objects. However objects often form groups with a common theme. For example clearly objects corresponding to charged and neutral tracks have much in common even though they are distinct. To allocate tasks to a single object, OO invokes the concept of inheritance. Generic features common to the group are used to define a foundation (or base class) and then new, more specialised classes, called subclasses or derived classes are formed by inheritance, a process that consists of:- So a generic track class could hold all characteristics common to charged and neutral tracks and then charged and neutral track classes inherit, extending and modifying generic concepts to the specific.
See OO Concepts: Inheritance
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