CHAPTER

8

Inheritance

Inheritance is one of the cornerstones of object-oriented programming because it allows the creation of hierarchical classifications. Using inheritance, you can create a general class that defines traits common to a set of related items. This class can then be inherited by other, more specific classes, each adding those things that are unique to it. In the terminology of Java, a class that is inherited is called a superclass. The class that does the inheriting is called a subclass. Therefore, a subclass is a specialized version of a superclass. It inherits all of the members defined by the superclass and adds its own, unique elements.

Inheritance Basics

To inherit a class, you simply incorporate the definition of one class ...

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