1: Introduction to objects

Bruce Eckel's Thinking in Java Contents | Prev | Next

to objects

Why has object-oriented programming had such a sweeping impact on the software development community?

  1. Choose a language such as Smalltalk in which you had to learn a large library before becoming productive.
  2. Choose C++ with virtually no libraries at all, [1] and struggle through the depths of the language in order to write your own libraries of objects .
It is, in fact, difficult to design objects well – for that matter, it’s hard to design anything well. But the intent is that a relatively few experts design the best objects for others to consume. Successful OOP languages incorporate not just language syntax and a compiler, but an entire development environment including a significant library of well-designed, easy to use objects. Thus, the primary job of most programmers is to use existing objects to solve their application problems. The goal of this chapter is to show you what object-oriented programming is and how simple it can be.

This chapter will introduce many of the ideas of Java and object-oriented programming on a conceptual level, but keep in mind that you’re not expected to be able to write full-fledged Java programs after reading this chapter. All the detailed descriptions and examples will follow throughout the course of this book.

[1] Fortunately, this has change significantly with the advent of third-party libraries and the Standard C++ library.


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