In This Chapter
Reviewing object-oriented programming
Introducing abstraction and classification
Discovering why object-oriented programming is important
What, exactly, is object-oriented programming? Object-oriented programming, or OOP as those in the know prefer to call it, relies on two principles you learned before you ever got out of Pampers: abstraction and classification. To explain, let me tell you a little story.
Sometimes when my son and I are watching football (which only happens when my wife can't find the switcher), I whip up a terribly unhealthy batch of nachos. I dump some chips on a plate, throw on some beans, cheese, and lots of jalapeños, and nuke the whole mess in the microwave oven for five minutes. To use my microwave, I open the door, throw the stuff in, and punch a few buttons. After a few minutes, the nachos are done.
Now think for a minute about all the things I don't do to use my microwave:
I don't rewire or change anything inside the microwave to get it to work. The microwave has an interface — the front panel with all the buttons and the little time display — that lets me do everything I need to do.
I don't have to reprogram the software used to drive the little processor inside my microwave, even if I cooked a different dish the last time I used the microwave.
I don't look inside my microwave's case.
Even if I were a microwave designer and knew all about the inner workings ...