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Linux Gazette: An Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming in C++

Jul 15, 2000, 13:13 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Williams)

"As it suggests, this article (or tutorial, if you will) is all about OOP in the computer language C++. Okay, let's get to the intros. The name's Williams, Mike Williams. My mission? To teach novice programmers, such as yourselves about the art of programming. Through the months, I'm hoping to take you through a variety of programming techniques, starting right here, right now with C++. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin...."

"OOP is undoubtedly one of the most complex programming techniques to explain. In fact, it's not so much a 'technique' rather than a whole new method of looking at programming itself. There are entire books on the subject, and it's well beyond the scope of this article to introduce you to every philosophy and implication of OOP. To understand OOP, you must first understand what programming was like before OOP."

"Back then, the basic definition of programming was this : a program is a sequence of logical instructions followed by the computer. And that's it. All well and good, but let's face it, it's hardly inspiring. Until now, that is. It's been hiding in the background for quite some time now, but OOP has finally taken off. In an OO programming language, the emphasis is placed far more on the data, or the 'objects' used and how the programmer manipulates them. Before OOP, numbers were simply an address in memory; a sequence of bytes that meant nothing. Now, however, through OOP they have become far more than that. The program is now a solution to whatever problem it is you have, but now it is done in the terms of the objects that define that problem, and using functions that work with those objects. Confused? Don't worry, you won't need to understand OOP to use it within your programs. Indeed, the best way to learn what OOP is all about is through using it in your programming."

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