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Object-Oriented Design Heuristics by Arthur J. Riel

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Chapter 5. The Inheritance Relationship

Introduction to the Inheritance Relationship

The inheritance relationship is one of the more important relationships within the object-oriented paradigm. It is best used to capture the a-kind-of relationship between classes, such as ChevyChevelle is a-kind-of Car, Dog is a-kind-of Animal. Its primary purpose is twofold: It acts as a mechanism for expressing commonality between two classes (generalization), and it is used to specify that one class is a special type of another class (specialization). The terms “specialization” and “generalization” are generally considered synonyms of “inheritance.” They are used often during object-oriented design critiques to discuss the process under which inheritance was ...

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