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

Coming up with a design such as TrashVisitor.java that contains a larger amount of code than the earlier designs can seem at first to be counterproductive. It pays to notice what you’re trying to accomplish with various designs. Design patterns in general strive to separate the things that change from the things that stay the same . The “things that change” can refer to many different kinds of changes. Perhaps the change occurs because the program is placed into a new environment or because something in the current environment changes (this could be: “The user wants to add a new shape to the diagram currently on the screen”). Or, as in this case, the change could be the evolution of the code body. While previous versions of the trash-sorting example emphasized the addition of new types of Trash to the system, TrashVisitor.java allows you to easily add new functionality without disturbing the Trash hierarchy. There’s more code in TrashVisitor.java, but adding new functionality to Visitor is cheap. If this is something that happens a lot, then it’s worth the extra effort and code to make it happen more easily.



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