10.4 Abstract Classes and Methods

When we think of a class, we assume that programs will create objects of that type. Sometimes it’s useful to declare classes—called abstract classes—for which you never intend to create objects. Because they’re used only as superclasses in inheritance hierarchies, we refer to them as abstract superclasses. These classes cannot be used to instantiate objects, because, as we’ll soon see, abstract classes are incomplete. Subclasses must declare the “missing pieces” to become “concrete” classes, from which you can instantiate objects. Otherwise, these subclasses, too, will be abstract. We demonstrate abstract classes in Section 10.5.

Purpose of Abstract Classes

An abstract class’s purpose is to provide an appropriate ...

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