Historical note added without programming 2008: The following article was written in year 2000 and is for readers who are used to programming but not to OOP. OOP was being evangelised with at the time I was writting. Object Oriented Programming is not very radical or very difficult compared to conventional programming.
When one looks under the ideology and sees what is actually there, one finds there is not really much different at all! The dogmatic fervour scares people off. Computer Scientists: These marvel in lectures about the structures and relationships that an object oriented approach can bring and draw lots of rectangles, lozenges or clouds joined by lines This is rather pointless as it is all fairly obvious to the mathematically minded in the audience and is all totally incomprehensible to the rest. Incompetents: Unfortunately there are some of these. I’ve even come across a lecturer from a London university who was paid to teach us OOP but could not answer the first trivial question when challenged to explain the rhetoric. What Object Oriented Programming is Firstly, some background.
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The commands can do input, output, manipulate data and control the order in which the commands are carried out. So as not to have to duplicate commands in different places in a program where same action needs to be performed, a set of commands can be combined into a ‘function’ or ‘subroutine’ which acts like a new command. Splitting a program into functions makes programming quicker not only because different programmers may be able to work on separate functions at the same time but, crucially, it breaks down a huge task which would be difficult for a human to store in mind as one piece into smaller units more suited human memory. In many computer languages, a programmer can define a compound variable type in addition to those which are ready made in a language. That was around for decades then someone then came up with the idea of including functions as well as variables in those combined variable types. Combined variable types could then have member functions as well as member variables.
Now you have understood that, we can go onto Object Orientated Programming at last. Correction: if you have understood then you have understood Object Oriented Programming! That idea in the preceding paragraph of putting functions into combined variable types is Object Oriented Programming! Does it not sound dramatic enough?