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Object-Orientation: Classification Considered Harmful

Object-Orientation: Classification Considered Harmful,Michael Jackson,Hamilton Terrace

Object-Orientation: Classification Considered Harmful   (Citations: 1)
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The object-oriented approach to software has been promoted as a major advance, offering a more faithful medium for modelling the application domain. But we should be no less sceptical of these claims than we have learned to be of the claims of functional programming, structured programming, logic programming, and relational database. The object-oriented concepts of classification and inheritance, in particular, should be treated with some caution. The view that each object is inherently of a specific class has some serious disadvantages: often it will be inappropriate for modelling the application domain, and it can certainly make reuse more difficult. 1. Objects, Classes, and Inheritance Strong claims are made for the virtues of an object-oriented approach to software development: after object-oriented programming we have been offered object-oriented analysis, object-oriented design, object-oriented methods, and object-oriented database systems, each promising large improvement in our ability to develop good software efficiently. Languages, environments, and methods that want to be taken seriously present themselves as candidates for the object-oriented seal of approval; enthusiasts discuss whether Ada is object-oriented and whether the latest version of Borland's Pascal environment merits the seal or not. The question naturally arises: what are the distinguishing characteristics of an object-oriented language or method?
Published in 1991.
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