Monday, September 19, 2011

Abstraction in JAVA Programming Language

Abstraction in JAVA Programming Language:
An essential element of object-oriented programming is abstraction. Humans manage complexity through abstraction. For example, people do not think of a car as a set of tens of thousands of individual parts. They think of it as a well-defined object with its own unique behavior. This abstraction allows people to use a car to drive to the grocery
store without being overwhelmed by the complexity of the parts that form the car. They can ignore the details of how the engine, transmission, and braking systems work. Instead they are free to utilize the object as a whole.

A powerful way to manage abstraction is through the use of hierarchical classifications. This allows you to layer the semantics of complex systems, breaking them into more manageable pieces. From the outside, the car is a single object. Once inside, you see that the car consists of several subsystems: steering, brakes, sound system, seat belts, heating, cellular phone, and so on. In turn, each of these subsystems is made up of more specialized units. For instance, the sound system consists of a radio, a CD player, and/or a tape player. The point is that you manage the complexity of the car (or any other complex system) through the use of hierarchical abstractions. Hierarchical abstractions of complex systems can also be applied to computer programs. The data from a traditional process-oriented program can be transformed by abstraction into its component objects. A sequence of process steps can become a collection of messages between these objects. Thus, each of these objects describes its own unique behavior. You can treat these objects as concrete entities that respond to messages telling them to do something. This is the essence of object-oriented programming.

Object-oriented concepts form the heart of Java just as they form the basis for human understanding. It is important that you understand how these concepts translate into programs. As you will see, object-oriented programming is a powerful and natural paradigm for creating programs that survive the inevitable changes accompanying the life cycle of any major software project, including conception, growth, and aging. For example, once you have well-defined objects and clean, reliable interfaces to those objects, you can gracefully decommission or replace parts of an older system without fear.


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