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The Gist of Object Oriented Programming

A means for the progressive decomposition a problem space into increasingly simpler component parts
such that these component parts represent higher levels of conceptual abstraction, and are
completely independent of each other except for their well-defined interfaces.

This was an attempt to explain the gist of OOP to programmers accustomed to the
structured programming paradigm. I tried to explain OOP in terms of ideals that can
be striven for, even though these ideals may never be perfectly achieved in real systems.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to improve this explanation?
The goal is to provide the gist of the benefits of OOP to structured
programmers in no more than a single short paragraph.
Jul 22 '05 #1
65 4256
On Sun, 18 Apr 2004 17:23:16 GMT in comp.lang.c++, "Roger Smythe"
<Ro*********@ho tmail.com> wrote,
A means for the progressive decomposition a problem space into increasingly simpler component parts
such that these component parts represent higher levels of conceptual abstraction, and are
completely independent of each other except for their well-defined interfaces.
This sentence no verb.
Does anyone have any ideas on how to improve this explanation?


Use shorter words. Use fewer words per sentence. Use active verbs.
Omit "a means for". Relate the abstract to the concrete.
Ask in alt.english.usa ge. Plagiarize Stroustrup, e.g. sect 1.7.

Jul 22 '05 #2
On Sun, 18 Apr 2004, Roger Smythe wrote:
A means for the progressive decomposition a problem space into increasingly simpler component parts
such that these component parts represent higher levels of conceptual abstraction, and are
completely independent of each other except for their well-defined interfaces.
You describe OOP as a means for component-based programming and then
give a definition of the latter. Although it's certainly a good idea to
use OOP to decompose a program into components, OOP is not the only
"means" to do so. Also you don't specify what precisely the
object-oriented means are.

Why not introduce the concept of a class to convey what OOP is?
Essentially, a class (1) defines a scope, (2) provides information
hiding through access modifiers, and (3) constitutes a type that can be
multiply instantiated.

(This description skips over the OOP facilities for code reuse -
inheritance and aggregation.)
This was an attempt to explain the gist of OOP to programmers accustomed to the
structured programming paradigm. I tried to explain OOP in terms of ideals that can
be striven for, even though these ideals may never be perfectly achieved in real systems.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to improve this explanation?
The goal is to provide the gist of the benefits of OOP to structured
programmers in no more than a single short paragraph.


--
Claudio Jolowicz


Jul 22 '05 #3
Roger Smythe <Ro*********@ho tmail.com> spoke thus:
A means for the progressive decomposition a problem space into increasingly simpler component parts
such that these component parts represent higher levels of conceptual abstraction, and are
completely independent of each other except for their well-defined interfaces. Does anyone have any ideas on how to improve this explanation?


I bet the people on comp.object would have some.

http://www.slack.net/~shiva/welcome.txt
http://www.parashift.com/c++-faq-lite/

--
Christopher Benson-Manica | I *should* know what I'm talking about - if I
ataru(at)cybers pace.org | don't, I need to know. Flames welcome.
Jul 22 '05 #4

"Claudio Jolowicz" <cj***@doc.ic.a c.uk> wrote in message
news:Pi******** *************** ********@kiwi.d oc.ic.ac.uk...
On Sun, 18 Apr 2004, Roger Smythe wrote:
A means for the progressive decomposition a problem space into increasingly simpler component partssuch that these component parts represent higher levels of conceptual abstraction, and are
completely independent of each other except for their well-defined interfaces.
You describe OOP as a means for component-based programming and then
give a definition of the latter.

I intended the generic (common understood) meaning of the term component,
such as the component parts of which most all things tend to be comprised.

Although it's certainly a good idea to use OOP to decompose a program into components, OOP is not the only
"means" to do so. Also you don't specify what precisely the
object-oriented means are. It is not the means that I am focusing on , but, the benefits. The goal is
to sell the benefits of OOP as succinctly as possible.

Why not introduce the concept of a class to convey what OOP is?
Essentially, a class (1) defines a scope, (2) provides information
hiding through access modifiers, and (3) constitutes a type that can be
multiply instantiated. I am only intending on selling the benefits, the means to these benefits
will never be seen by people that are not first sold on the benefits. It
is like I am answering the implicit question:

Why should I take all the time and effort to learn OOP when I already
know structured programming? I want to make it very clear, concise,
and persuasive so that even those many people whom have already decided
"its not worth the bother" will give it another look.
(This description skips over the OOP facilities for code reuse -
inheritance and aggregation.)
This was an attempt to explain the gist of OOP to programmers accustomed to the
structured programming paradigm. I tried to explain OOP in terms of ideals that can
be striven for, even though these ideals may never be perfectly achieved in real systems.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to improve this explanation?
The goal is to provide the gist of the benefits of OOP to structured
programmers in no more than a single short paragraph.


--
Claudio Jolowicz

Jul 22 '05 #5
"Christophe r Benson-Manica" <at***@nospam.c yberspace.org> wrote in
message news:c5******** **@chessie.cirr .com...
Roger Smythe <Ro*********@ho tmail.com> spoke thus:
A means for the progressive decomposition a problem space into increasingly simpler component parts such that these component parts represent higher levels of conceptual abstraction, and are completely independent of each other except for their well-defined
interfaces.
Does anyone have any ideas on how to improve this explanation?


I bet the people on comp.object would have some.


In addition to which you should have some notion of encapsulation
expressed in the explanation because it is key. Something like: "OOP
uses component parts which contain the data which makes them what they
are (properties) and code which provides how they function
(behaviors), encapsulated together and hidden from the users of those
components except through well-defined interfaces. A user has no
knowledge of the internal construction or working of each object. A
user only knows the interface and relies on it to provide
functionality from the object. This simplifies any later changes made
to the object in order to correct behaviors (fix bugs), improve
behaviors (speed up execution), or add new behaviors (maintain reverse
capability)."

Are those enough benefits for you?
--
Gary
Jul 22 '05 #6
"Peter Olcott" <ol****@worldne t.att.net> wrote
It is not the means that I am focusing on , but, the benefits. The goal is
to sell the benefits of OOP as succinctly as possible.

I am only intending on selling the benefits, the means to these benefits
will never be seen by people that are not first sold on the benefits. It
is like I am answering the implicit question:

Why should I take all the time and effort to learn OOP when I already
know structured programming? I want to make it very clear, concise,
and persuasive so that even those many people whom have already decided
"its not worth the bother" will give it another look.


I seriously doubt that phrasing a single sentence that tries to capture the
essence of OOP will sway anyone and it's likely going to come out sounding more
like someone preaching dogma, intoning a sales slogan, or trying to pencil in a
definition in an exam than like a serious argument.

Just explain the advantages point by point and be prepared to answer some tough
questions and to admit that OOP not only isn't the be-all-end-all of
programming, but that sometimes, it's not even the right way to approach a
problem. And if they're not interested in OOP, it's their right. It's just one
paradigm among many other valid ones.

Claudio Puviani
Jul 22 '05 #7
Claudio Puviani writes:
I seriously doubt that phrasing a single sentence that tries to capture the essence of OOP will sway anyone and it's likely going to come out sounding more like someone preaching dogma, intoning a sales slogan, or trying to pencil in a definition in an exam than like a serious argument.

Just explain the advantages point by point and be prepared to answer some tough questions and to admit that OOP not only isn't the be-all-end-all of
programming, but that sometimes, it's not even the right way to approach a
problem. And if they're not interested in OOP, it's their right. It's just one paradigm among many other valid ones.


I totally agree. Einstein said something along the lines of ... make things
as simple as you can but no simpler. You are on the verge of sounding like
a salesman. When I hear something like "higher levels of conceptual
abstraction" I roll my eyes and get prepared for a snow job. I would
actually make a point that this is no silver bullet. Structured programming
*was* a silver bullet. This stuff is not even in the same ball park.
Jul 22 '05 #8
> Just explain the advantages point by point
Exactly which advantages do you consider to be the most important?

My aim is to succinctly convey the most important advantages, not
in a single sentence, but in about one paragraph. I want to derive
a consensus opinion about the best way to answer the question:

Why should bother to take the time to learn a whole new way of
software development, when I already know structured programming?
and be prepared to answer some tough
questions and to admit that OOP not only isn't the be-all-end-all of
Its not intended to be a dialogue. What I am looking for is more
along the lines of an advertising slogan. Something that so quickly
and effectively makes its point there is not enough time to quit
reading before the point has already been made.
programming, but that sometimes, it's not even the right way to approach a
problem. And if they're not interested in OOP, it's their right. It's just one
paradigm among many other valid ones.

Claudio Puviani

Jul 22 '05 #9
> I totally agree. Einstein said something along the lines of ... make things
as simple as you can but no simpler. You are on the verge of sounding like
a salesman. When I hear something like "higher levels of conceptual
abstraction" I roll my eyes and get prepared for a snow job.
Yet this is precisely why programming has evolved over time from machine
language to assembly language, to third generation languages, and on. As
language levels rise (this itself is higher levels of conceptual abstraction)
far fewer instructions need be specified, and thus orders of magnitude
of programmer productivity arise.
I would
actually make a point that this is no silver bullet. Structured programming
*was* a silver bullet. This stuff is not even in the same ball park.

Jul 22 '05 #10

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