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Thread: Abstract class

  1. #1
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    Default Abstract class

    Well part of one of my assignments is to write an abstract class. I know an abstract class is used for inheritance and cannot be instantiated. I'm aware that all of the real coding is done in the subclasses. I just can't get a grip on what's suppose to be in the abstract class other than abstract methods. This is what I have so far

    public abstract class DataItem {
    	//abstract,method will determine if two objects contain the same data
    	//Pre-condition: Object contains data is the object otherItem
    	//Post-condition: Returns true 
    	public abstract boolean equals(DataItem otherItem);
    	//Method will compare two objects.
    	//Pre-condition: Returns a value < 0 if this element is less than otherItem
    	//Post-condition: Returns 0 if this element is the same as other item. 
    	//returns a value > 0 if this element is greater than otherItem.
    	public abstract int compareTo(DataItem otheritem);
    	//Method to return a copy of this object.
    	//Post-condition: A copy of this object is created and reference of the copy is returned.
    	public abstract DataItem getCopy();	
    }// End abstract class DataItem.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator helloworld922's Avatar
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    Default Re: Abstract class

    An abstract class is simply a class that can't be instantiated. It can have anything a normal class can have (fields, non-abstract methods, etc.), as well as can have abstract methods. Most often this is done to provide a class which has some implementation of a class, but not all of it.

    ex.: A car class could implement that you steer by turning the wheel, but how it turns would be implemented by inheriting classes.

    If you want a "class" with only abstract members (aka purely abstract class), you could create an abstract class, or you can create an interface. The interface is an abstract class which has and only abstract methods (static methods/fields are ok, though).

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