Object Inheritance (Polymorphic Classes) Homework Help
Inheritance is an essential topic in object-oriented programming that simplifies the code and improves the overall readability of the code while creating classes. It’s used in instances where there are two or more classes that can be created. One class has features that can be used in the other class. Let’s consider the example that you want to create the class animal and dogs. There is a relationship between the two, it’s that the dog is an animal too. There are some features such as walking on four legs that you will have to use from the animal class
Inheriting makes it somehow easier. You will be able to use the features in the animal class without further addition of lines of code. The animal class or the class from where we are inheriting is referred to as the superclass or base class, while the dog class which inherits from another class is referred to as the derived class. Just because the derived class (the dog class in our case) inherits the features of the other class doesn’t mean that it’s restricted to adding other methods. In fact, it can add its embellishments and refinements. Inheritance only allows you to use the methods in the superclass.
Modes of inheritance.
Three modes are used in inheritance. They include public, private, and protected. In most cases, we use public mode and rarely use the rest.
1. Public mode
Under this mode, we inherit from a public superclass. The effect is that all public members of the superclass remain in the same manner in the inherited class. But the protected members will still be protected in the defined class.
2. Protected mode.
Under the protected mode, all members whether public or protected become protected in the derived class.
3. Private mode.
If we inherit from a private superclass, all the members become private.
Types of inheritance.
1. Multiple inheritances
Multiple inheritances are when we inherit from multiple superclasses. An example is if the dog class inherits from another class known as the mammal class and the animal class.
2. Single inheritance.
This is where we inherit from a single base class. A perfect example is an animal-dog class.
3. Multilevel inheritance.
This is when another class can inherit from the dog class. Let’s say a puppy class.
4. Hierarchical inheritance.
This is where there are two or more derived classes inheriting from a single base class. Say, we had other classes such as cows, cats, and donkeys. They will inherit from the base class animals and therefore form hierarchical inheritance.
5. Hybrid inheritance
This type of inheritance refers to combining more than one method of the already inherited class, as mentioned earlier. An example is blending hierarchical inheritance and multiple inheritances.
This is a special kind of inheritance that differs greatly from the ones that we have mentioned above. In this case, we inherit from two or more base classes. Sometimes, there are cases when ambiguity can arise. Minimizing such uncertainties will require the programmer to implement a scope resolution operator, which defines the path to access each member. Additionally, a virtual base class can help avoid ambiguity in the code.
Advantages of inheritance in C++.
The major advantage of using inheritance in python is that it helps in code reusability. There is no need to write a method in the base class all over again to reuse it in the derived class.
Because of the reusability of code, inheritance helps the programmer to significantly reduce the time of software development. The additional benefits are: –
The program structure is concise and more reliable.
Inheritance results in better organization of codes.
Disadvantages of inheritance in C++.
The execution of the derived class processes is highly dependent on the execution of the base class processes. Derived class processes cannot be executed without the base class is executed.
The other challenges come while adding new features and they have to be done with extra caution because an error in the base class could be transmitted to the derived class-leading to problems.
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