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Object-oriented programming

The meaning of «object-oriented programming»

Object-oriented programming (OOP) is a programming paradigm based on the concept of "objects", which can contain data and code: data in the form of fields (often known as attributes or properties), and code, in the form of procedures (often known as methods).

A feature of objects is that an object's own procedures can access and often modify the data fields of itself (objects have a notion of "this" or "self"). In OOP, computer programs are designed by making them out of objects that interact with one another.[1][2] OOP languages are diverse, but the most popular ones are class-based, meaning that objects are instances of classes, which also determine their types.

Many of the most widely used programming languages (such as C++, Java, Python, etc.) are multi-paradigm and they support object-oriented programming to a greater or lesser degree, typically in combination with imperative, procedural programming. Significant object-oriented languages include Java, C++, C#, Python, R, PHP, Visual Basic.NET, JavaScript, Ruby, Perl, Object Pascal, Objective-C, Dart, Swift, Scala, Kotlin, Common Lisp, MATLAB, and Smalltalk.

Object-oriented programming uses objects, but not all of the associated techniques and structures are supported directly in languages that claim to support OOP. The features listed below are common among languages considered to be strongly class- and object-oriented (or multi-paradigm with OOP support), with notable exceptions mentioned.[3][4][5][6]

Modular programming support provides the ability to group procedures into files and modules for organizational purposes. Modules are namespaced so identifiers in one module will not conflict with a procedure or variable sharing the same name in another file or module.

Languages that support object-oriented programming (OOP) typically use inheritance for code reuse and extensibility in the form of either classes or prototypes. Those that use classes support two main concepts:

Objects sometimes correspond to things found in the real world. For example, a graphics program may have objects such as "circle", "square", "menu". An online shopping system might have objects such as "shopping cart", "customer", and "product".[7] Sometimes objects represent more abstract entities, like an object that represents an open file, or an object that provides the service of translating measurements from U.S. customary to metric.

Junade Ali, Mastering PHP Design Patterns[8]

Each object is said to be an instance of a particular class (for example, an object with its name field set to "Mary" might be an instance of class Employee). Procedures in object-oriented programming are known as methods; variables are also known as fields, members, attributes, or properties. This leads to the following terms:

Objects are accessed somewhat like variables with complex internal structure, and in many languages are effectively pointers, serving as actual references to a single instance of said object in memory within a heap or stack. They provide a layer of abstraction which can be used to separate internal from external code. External code can use an object by calling a specific instance method with a certain set of input parameters, read an instance variable, or write to an instance variable. Objects are created by calling a special type of method in the class known as a constructor. A program may create many instances of the same class as it runs, which operate independently. This is an easy way for the same procedures to be used on different sets of data.

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