abstraction in oops

Abstraction in OOPs: How to Add Abstraction to Your Code

Object-oriented programming (OOP) is a software development methodology that creates programs by combining code with data.

The OOP approach and its principles are widely used in software engineering. Abstraction enables code to operate on high-level concepts rather than dealing directly with detailed implementation details.

abstraction in oops

It makes the code simpler, more readable, and easier to maintain. Here is an example of abstraction in OOPs: let’s say we have a simple Animal class with only one attribute — Name.

Let’s also assume that there are several different types of Animals: Cat, Dog, Iguana, Parrot, and Shark. To generalize the concept of ‘Animal’ we can create an abstract SuperAnimal class that has properties like Weight and Length but no other attributes.

Then we can create subclasses of SuperAnimal: CatSuperAnimal, DogSuperAnimal, IguanaSuperAnimal, etc., each one extending the superclass and adding additional attributes as needed. See below for details:

Abstract Classes in OOPs

An abstract class is a class that cannot be used directly. It is used to specialize other classes or to provide a general concept. In other words, an abstract class is a class that is incomplete.

You cannot instantiate an abstract class, or create an instance of it. You instantiate the concrete subclass that is derived from it. You can’t implement an abstract class in C++.

Abstract classes are useful when you have a very specific use case to consider, but you want the class to be flexible enough to work for a variety of different use cases.

Rather than create specific classes for each one, you can create an abstract class to act as a “parent” class for the other classes.

Use Cases of Abstraction in OOPs

There are many use cases for abstraction in OOPs. One of the most common is creating reusable code. If you find yourself writing the same code in more than one place, it’s a good indicator that you could be abstracting the code to create a function that can be called from multiple places.

Another common use for abstraction is creating generalized classes that can be used for a variety of different situations. For example, let’s say you’re creating a scheduling app.

You might create a class that represents events that happen in the future, along with methods to calculate the date and time an event will happen.

If you also need to create a calendar app, you can create another abstract class that represents events happening in the present, and extend the first class to add present-day events to the mix.

Benefits of Abstraction in OOPs

Abstraction makes code easier to read and understand by providing a high-level description of the code’s functionality.

It allows programmers to focus on the core functionality of the code and avoid dealing with unnecessary implementation details.

This makes code easier to maintain and modify as necessary. Abstraction also makes code more reusable. Once you have identified and documented the abstraction, other programmers can more easily use your code because they don’t need to understand the specific details of your code.

Limitations of Abstraction in OOPs

Abstraction is not a catch-all solution. Sometimes, you’ll want to use an abstraction to handle an edge case that might otherwise be confusing in the code.

However, if you’re using it to handle a problem that isn’t relevant to the current use case, abstraction can make your code confusing and unnecessarily complicated.

Similarly, you can’t just add an abstraction to solve every problem. If a problem can’t be solved using an abstraction, don’t try to force one. Instead, look for a more direct and simpler solution.

How to Add Abstraction to Your Code?

The best way to add abstraction to your code is to write your code as though you’re explaining it to another programmer.

You want to think about how someone who isn’t familiar with your code would understand it, and decide what details are important and what can be left out.

Be careful not to get too caught up in the details of how the code actually works. Instead, focus on what the code is trying to accomplish.

You can also use comments to explain parts of your code in more detail than the code itself provides. This can be especially useful if other programmers are reading the code and they don’t understand the abstraction you used.

Wrapping Up

Abstraction is a critical part of any successful programming project. It enables the code to operate on high-level concepts rather than dealing directly with the implementation details.

There are many use cases for abstraction in OOPs, including creating reusable code and generalized classes that can be used for a variety of different situations.

The best way to add abstraction to your code is to write your code as though you’re explaining it to another programmer.

You want to think about how someone who isn’t familiar with your code would understand it, and decide what details are important and what can be left out.

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